The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve sustainability initiative announced NatureWorks, LLC, a global leader in supplying renewably sourced materials including its innovative Ingeo portfolio of bio-based plastics, as a new program sponsor.

Ingeo bioplastic is used by more than 100 brands and retailers for to-go containers, plastic cups, and utensils in 70,000 stores worldwide. Made from 100 percent annually renewable plant materials, Ingeo is used by food serviceware suppliers around the globe to make food serviceware that is compostable in commercial composting facilities, facilitating the diversion of food residuals and organics from landfill. 

Many products made from Ingeo have earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred label: a voluntary consumer labeling initiative for biobased products. 

“We are pleased NatureWorks is helping Conserve implement a vision of a more environmentally friendly restaurant industry. We applaud their efforts to promote composting and help shift the restaurant industry towards a new sustainable future,” says Jeff Clark, conserve program director. “Along with our Food Waste Reduction Alliance efforts and partnership with the U.S. Composting Council, we are excited to work with visionary companies like NatureWorks to promote business-friendly, environmental change.” 

Food waste reduction and management was ranked ninth among 20 top trends at restaurants in 2015, according to the National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot” culinary forecast. The NRA supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s food waste hierarchy, of which composting is a key component. Conserve actively promotes composting.

“We are thrilled to help the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve program help move the needle towards more restaurant composting,” says Doug Kunnemann, global segment leader for food service with NatureWorks. “There are many opportunities for further infrastructure development, and it’s an exciting industry, with substantial environmental, social, and economic benefits. Using compostable plastics helps composters get the good leftover food into their composting process, taking old food and turning into nutrient soil for new food! It is a win-win!”

Industry News, Sustainability