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DON'T BLAME YOUR LUNCH; NEW STATISTICS SHOW FOODSERVICE DISPOSABLE PACKAGING TAKING UP SMALLER PORTION OF SOLID WASTE

 ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Is the packaging in which your fast-food or carry-out meal is served to blame for taking up a large portion of our nation's landfill space? The answer is "no," according to the latest statistics provided to the Foodservice & Packaging Institute (FPI) by a renowned solid-waste authority. Discarded foodservice disposable products, including the packaging used in fast-food restaurants, constitute a small and declining portion of the volume of America's garbage, says FPI.
 An estimated 1.72 percent of the volume of the United States' municipal solid waste is made up of foodservice disposables, according to data prepared for FPI by Franklin Associates, Ltd., of Prairie Village, Kan. Franklin is the organization which prepares the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's bi-annual report, "Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States."
 "These numbers, along with other solid-waste research, show that, contrary to popular perceptions, disposable food service containers and packaging, including fast-food packaging, make up a tiny portion of our country's total volume of garbage," said Joseph W. Bow, president of FPI. "Our industry continues to develop and implement source reduction, recycling, composting and other environmentally responsible disposal methods for foodservice disposables."
 Furthermore, discarded foodservice disposables declined as a portion of America's solid-waste volume from 1.84 percent in 1988 to 1.72 percent in 1990, according to Franklin's analysis. During the same time period, according to FPI, the volume of foodservice disposables manufactured increased by approximately 5 percent.
 For perspective, the EPA's "Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 1992 Update" shows that Americans discard other common types of waste in more significant volumes than foodservice disposables, including yard trimmings (10 percent), clothing and footwear (4 percent), food wastes (3.2 percent) and third-class mail (2.2 percent). Note that a two-year lag exists in compiling and releasing MSW statistics. For instance, the EPA's most recent data was released in 1992 but covers the previous two-year period of 1988 to 1990.
 Foodservice disposable products consist of cups, plates, lids, flatware, cutlery, trays, straws, hinged-lid "clamshell" containers (for sandwiches, salads, etc.) and other single-use paper, plastic and aluminum products.
 Founded in 1933, FPI is the association for the manufacturers, raw- material suppliers, machinery suppliers and distributors of foodservice disposable products. FPI promotes the sanitary, health, safety, convenient, functional and economic benefits of single-use foodservice products. FPI also supports the manufacture, distribution, use and disposal of these products in an environmentally responsible manner.
 -0- 9/8/93
 /CONTACT: Michael Pells of the Foodservice & Packaging Institute, 703-527-7505/


CO: Foodservice & Packaging Institute, Inc. ST: Virginia IN: SU:

DC-KD -- DCFNS1 -- 9597 09/08/93 07:35 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993
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