Sonoco Teams Up with Industry Leaders to Take on Sustainability and Food Waste
The Summit attracted a diverse mix of attendees representing a variety of professional disciplines including food scientists, packaging engineers, brand owners, sustainability officers, environmental scientists, financial analysts, supply chain experts, academics, consultants and others with an interest or potential role to play in further improving our global sustainability ecosystem.
Day One of the Summit consisted of a series of facility tours organized to give participants an up-close look at the different steps and technologies involved in the recycling process. The all-day immersion session included visits to a Sonoco Material Recovery Facility (MRF); a grinding facility specializing in redemption and post-industrial and PET bottles; a toll washer of post-consumer, post-industrial and deposit PET flake and pellet; and Sonoco’s Innovative Packaging Solutions (iPS) Studio, where participants were shown how rPET flake is transformed into food trays.
Sonoco President & CEO
Tiede was particularly passionate about the critical issue of food waste, a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” said Tiede. “We can do better. By delivering innovative packaging solutions, we can have a major impact on the reduction of food waste, while increasing access to fresh, nutritional foods for millions of people. In fact, if we were able to recover all our wasted food, we could provide a 2000-calorie diet to 84% of the population.”
Tiede pointed out that solving the food waste challenge won’t be easy and will require the collective intellectual capital and collaboration of industry experts and thought leaders in food science, agriculture, horticulture, packaging, transportation and material science. In response to this challenge, Sonoco recently committed
Tiede’s address was followed by the Summit’s Keynote Speaker, Dr.
In his remarks Foley noted that, “Globally, some 30 to 50 percent of food produced never makes it to the table. In developing countries, roughly 50 percent of food waste is created before it ever leaves the farm. The other 50 percent is the result of spoilage during transport and processing. Dr. Foley made an interesting distinction when talking about the concept of sustainability. He spoke about the limitations surrounding the word itself and the idea of altering our thinking to focus on striving to thrive, not just sustain. He identified a number of tangible opportunities through new technologies, better land and resource management, and simple changes in consumer and industry behavior that could turn resources we are currently wasting into solutions that could decrease food waste, increase access to food, reduce greenhouse gasses, impact climate change and help global citizens thrive in brand new ways.
Following the keynote, Tiede presented a
Additional presentations and panel discussions rounding out the Summit took an in-depth look at the growing problem of ocean plastics and the important role of recycling in mitigating its impacts, as well as the latest additions to Sonoco’s portfolio of sustainable packaging solutions.
For additional highlights and takeaways from Sonoco’s 2019 Sustainability and Food Waste Summit, visit https://www.sonoco.com/2019-sustainability-food-waste-summit.
Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services. With annualized net sales of approximately
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Source: Sonoco Products Company