On January 26, 2022, Plastic Food Packaging Waste News (PFPWN) www.pfpw.news/pfpw-news-archives sent an email to the Presidents of several food industry trade associations calling their attention to: 1. A Manifesto https://www.plasticpollutiontreaty.org/ issued by plastics makers and several food and beverage marketers that urged the United Nations “… to urgently commence negotiations on a treaty on plastic pollution …”; 2. A paper https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.1c04158 which concludes that with respect to “Novel Entities” like plastic waste “… humanity is currently operating outside the planetary boundary … [The authors recommended] taking urgent action to reduce the harm …”; and that 3. Earth Day just held a webinar on “Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution” https://www.earthday.org/turning-the-tide-on-plastic-pollution-mobilizing-around-a-global-plastics-treaty/ - The PFPWN message asked if now is the time “… for food industry trade associations to jointly establish a public private partnership that would fund research that is necessary for the discovery of new food packaging materials that would be digestible by animals …” - #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #FoodPackaging
The text of the email message follows
Plastic Food Packaging Waste News www.pfpw.news/pfpw-news-archives/ Silver Spring, Maryland 20904
January 26, 2022
American Frozen Food Institute: Alison Bodor: email@example.com
American Beverage Association: Katherine Lugar: KLugar@AmericanBeverage.org
Consumer Brands Association: Geoff Freeman, President and CEO: GFreeman@ConsumerBrandsAssociation.org
Food Marketing Institute: Leslie Sarasin, President and CEO: LSarasin@FMI.org
International Dairy Foods Association: Michael Dykes: MDykes@IDFA.org
National Confectioners Association: President and CEO: John Downs, Jr.: President@CandyUSA.com
National Grocers Association: President and CDO Greg Ferrara: GFerrara@NationalGrocers.org
National Milk Producers Association: Jim Mulhern: JMulhern@NMPF.org
CEOs Bodor, Downs, Dykes, Ferrara, Lugar, Freeman, Mulhern and Sarasin
On Monday, January 17, representatives of plastics makers and food and beverage marketers, including Mars, Mondelez, Nestle, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, signed onto a “Manifesto” https://www.plasticpollutiontreaty.org/ which “… recognize that we have a role in the global effort aimed at stopping plastic pollution and are committed to tackling this issue … A coordinated international response is needed, one that aligns businesses and governments behind a shared understanding of the causes of plastic pollution, and a clear approach to addressing them. We believe that by harmonizing regulatory standards, mandating the development of national targets and action plans, defining common metrics and methodologies, and supporting innovation and infrastructure development, a UN treaty on plastic pollution can help drive the transition to a circular economy for plastic—at speed and scale … we must work together to solve this problem. Therefore, we urge the member states of the United Nations to urgently commence negotiations on a treaty on plastic pollution …”.
The following day, a paper was published in ACS Environmental Science and Technology https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.1c04158 reporting that “… the safe operating space of the planetary boundary of novel entities [Plastic Waste is a Novel Entity, as is Carbon Dioxide] is exceeded since annual production and releases are increasing at a pace that outstrips the global capacity for assessment and monitoring … could have large-scale impacts that threaten the integrity of Earth system processes … We conclude that humanity is currently operating outside the planetary boundary based on the weight-of-evidence for several of these control variables. The increasing rate of production and releases of larger volumes and higher numbers of novel entities with diverse risk potentials exceed societies’ ability to conduct safety related assessments and monitoring. We recommend taking urgent action to reduce the harm associated with exceeding the boundary …”.
Today January 26, Earth Day conducted a broadcast, titled: “Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution” https://www.earthday.org/turning-the-tide-on-plastic-pollution-mobilizing-around-a-global-plastics-treaty/
In view of the issues presented in the “Novel Entity” paper, the fact that it will take a long time for the UN to consider and then adopt an acceptable treaty and because environmental organizations, like Earth Day, are aggressively pursuing plastic waste issues, is it acceptable policy for the leadership of food and beverage industry trade associations to wait for governments to act and for individual company pledges to be realized?
If not, one approach could be for food industry trade associations to jointly establish a public private partnership that would fund research that is necessary for the discovery of new food packaging materials that would be digestible by animals, as envisioned by the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative www.adfpi.org and supported by posts available on Plastic Food Packaging Waste News https://pfpw.news/pfpw-news-archives/
Jack Cooper, Executive Director at
Plastic Food Packaging Waste News https://pfpw.news/pfpw-news-archives/
Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative www.adfpi.org
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-cooper-21474b14/
A 1989 Fellow and 51-Year Member of the Institute of Food Technologists www.ift.org
E-Mail: JLC@PFPW.news --- Cell: 301 908 3744
bcc: Advisors to the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative as shown at: https://adfpi.org/about/board/ and others who have expressed interest in the Initiative
For the following reasons Improperly Discarded Plastic Food Packaging (IDPFP) is a food industry scientific, legislative, regulatory, and public affairs issue:
~ Wildlife, including marine food sources, are exposed to IDPFP in their natural environment.
~ Adverse biological effect studies are underway;
~ For some species, adverse biological effects have been demonstrated.
~ At the present time, there are no known adverse human health effects from exposure to IDPFP.
~ IDPFP that reaches the environment will over time naturally degrade into micro and nano size plastic fibers;
~ Research projects around the world are underway to learn of biological health effects.
~ Governments around the world are developing legislative and regulatory mandates to prevent the environmental release of IDPFP, including the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) where producers are required to accept financial or physical responsibility for the treatment or disposal of discarded consumer products.
~ Consumers are increasingly applying Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors to the companies from which they purchase consumer products and investors are applying ESG factors in their decision-making process.
~ Lawsuits against companies for alleged false environmental claims.
~ Recycling difficulties.
~ Constant social and mainstream media attention.
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I am also Executive Director of the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative - www.adfpi.org
PFPW.news is seeking an individual, including a student or intern, to volunteer their time at least until the end of March 2022 to serve as web master and social media director for this news service www.pfpw.news and the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative www.adfpi.org
I would welcome an opportunity to present a virtual presentation about the subject of Plastic Food Packaging Waste to student clubs, board of directors, IFT and IAFF meetings, and other groups.
~ On February 8, I will be participating with two others in an in person Washington Ag Roundtable panel discussion on “Environment, Climate and Agriculture” and
~ On February 23, I will be meeting on campus and in person with the student members of the University of California Food Tech Club.
PFPW News is issued by Jack Cooper, Executive Director, Plastic Food Packaging Waste News www.pfpw.news
Cell: 301 908 3744 - JLC@PFPW.news
33 Falling Creek Court --- Silver Spring, Maryland 20904