U.S. study: fast food and consumer goods industries do not recycle enough

18 November 2016
Categoria:  International review

According to a recent study by two environmental groups, very little food and consumer goods companies have implemented effective practices for the recycling of packaging and sustainability. The study, carried out by the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York and As You Sow in Oakland, examined the procedures of 47 companies in the sectors of fast food, drinks and other consumer products, on the subject of packaging. It emerged, for example, that plastic packaging is the fastest growing category in the United States, largely due to the spread of fast food and soft drinks, but only 14% of the materials was being recycled. This amounts to a waste of about 11 billion dollars in potential revenues from recycling. None of the 47 firms surveyed scored full marks in the implementation of best practice for the recycling of packaging. According to the authors of the study, the big brands should take a stronger leadership position to boost recycling rates in the United States, and improve the sustainability of packaging. Only two chains of restaurants offer the infrastructure for recycling at all of their locations in the United States. Some producers of consumer goods earned positive comments from the authors of the study for their implementation of initiatives to promote recycling. Generally, however, the major fast food and beverage companies have not invested sufficiently to reduce packaging, improve its recyclability, increase the use of recycled materials in their packaging, or use compostable containers.