Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month proposed a ban of all Styrofoam food containers in the city, saying the material is destructive to the environment and a burden on taxpayers.
“Something that we know is environmentally destructive, that is costing taxpayers money, and that is easily replaceable, is something we can do without,” Bloomberg said during his 12th and final State of the City address.
“So with Speaker Christine Quinn and the City Council, we will work to adopt a law banning Styrofoam food packaging from our stores and restaurants,” he said. Bloomberg added that Styrofoam increases the cost of recycling by up to $20 per ton, and that it is “virtually impossible to recycle and never biodegrades.”
The ban — which needs to be passed by the City Council — is one part of Bloomberg's sweeping green initiatives for the remainder of his final term. The initiatives also include doubling the city's recycling rate to 30% by 2017, a push for more electric cars and accommodations for them, and reducing the city's carbon footprint by 30% over the next 10 years. Some storeowners said a Styrofoam ban could hurt business. “For the customers, putting their hot food in plastic containers would be bad — those can melt,” said Hong Yoo, a manager at Bryant Market deli on Sixth Avenue. “We supply Styrofoam because there's a demand for it,” he said, adding that it “costs less than plastic.”
To answer the needs of Metro NYC‘s foodservice operators and the possible Styrofoam ban, Huhtamaki US offers a solution with their Chinet® and SAVADAY® molded fiber products consisting of bowls, plates, clamshells, trays and other eco-friendly alternatives to Styrofoam. Both the Chinet® and SAVADAY® lines are made from 100% recycled material and are 100% compostable. Perfect for food prep and preservation, Huhtamaki offers sustainability, strength and style. Total Food Service sat down with Alexis Guetzlaff, a product manager for Huhtamaki’s foodservice division, to discuss how Huhtamaki has met the growing demand for compostable products.
How does Huhtamaki help the food service operator with their commitment towards a “green and sustainable” agenda?
Huhtamaki makes a full line of sustainable products that are great alternatives to foam packaging. From products made with 100% recycled materials that are 100% compostable, like Chinet® tableware and clamshells and Savaday® tableware and trays, to RC Cup by Chinet®, which insulates hot cups without the use of foam.
What makes Huhtamaki different from other products in the marketplace? Our wide variety of products really set us apart, especially our large number of products that are made from recycled materials and are compostable. Also, we are one of the few manufacturers that can offer customers products from 3 different substrates: molded fiber, paper and plastics.
When you look under the hood so to speak, what makes the production of Huhtamaki’s Chinet and Savaday® lines unique?
We help preserve precious natural resources by using the 100% pre-consumer recycled material. This means we collect safe, clean, never-used scrap materials – milk carton stock, paper from other associated business units and unprinted newspaper – to create these disposable tableware products.
By using these recycled materials we currently conserve 2.5 million trees annually and reduce our landfill usage by 450,000 cubic yards. We are also able to save 1 billion gallons of water through our water-efficiency programs.
The Huhtamaki Chinet line is so much more than plates; walk us through what else the line offers.
While the foundation of the Chinet® Brand is the molded fiber plate, we really do offer so much more:
- Chinet® Molded Fiber Plates, Bowls and Platters – A full line of tableware in white and stock prints. Custom printing is also available on our Chinet® tableware, so foodservice operators can use their tableware to enhance their branding.
- PaperPro® Naturals™ by Chinet – Prices similarly to mid-weight paper plates, PaperPro® Naturals™ plates and bowls allow even the cost-sensitive operations to enjoy the benefits of molder fiber tableware.
- Chinet® Molded Fiber Clamshells – Our new domestically produced molded fiber clamshells have a unique locking mechanism that keeps customers’ food safe during transport. With all the sustainable benefits of molded fiber and better performance than foam, these are a wonderful alternative for takeout packaging.
- Savaday® by Chinet® – A full line of molded fiber plates, bowls and circles are perfect for back of house food contact applications. With superior oil absorbing capabilities, these products will help extend the life of your product, from prep to serving.
- RC Cup® by Chinet® – The sustainable hot cup alternative to polystyrene foam. With cups made with a built-in recycled liner to avoid double cupping, and containers that keep food at an optimal temperature, your customers will thank you, and so will the planet.
- Huhtamaki® Paper Food Containers – With sizes from 6 oz. to 64 oz., Huhtamaki Paper Food Containers are perfect for any portion. With a variety of stock print designs and lid options, there is a solution for every operator. Is the proposed Bloomberg/NY Styrofoam ban essential to the growth of the Chinet line? The Chinet® Brand is constantly growing, either through expansion of current products or through innovation. We are seeing operators and consumers move away from foam to more sustainable products across the country, regardless of the local legislation.
To learn more about Huhtamaki’s full line of sustainable products, contact your Huhtamaki sales representative by calling 913-583-3025 or visit www.us.huhtamaki.com