Healthier, Safer Foodware Options: Solutions to Toxic Chemicals and Waste

Interactive Workshop Lounge

This session will introduce the health and environmental risks associated with toxic chemicals in single-use food service ware. Participants will learn about the latest research on the use of fluorinated, “non-stick” PFAS chemicals in a wide array of single-use plates, bowls, take-out containers and food trays. These toxic and persistent compounds can contaminate food, water and compost. Participants will also address 1) other concerns with single-use products such as polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), 2) climate and environmental considerations around compostables vs recyclables, 3) how to access and use a newly-created procurement resource (from a SPLC Topical Action Team) on Sustainable Food serviceware, which includes information on recent changes to relevant third-party certifications, model specifications, a publicly accessible database of products and a decision tree for identifying and purchasing healthier, more sustainable food service ware products. Representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA and Genentech will describe the steps they took to phase out PFAS and identify more sustainable alternatives; the value of their close partnership with their food service operations company (both subsidiaries of Compass Food Group); how their engagement of customers is integral to the program’s success; and what lessons they have learned along the way. An active and engaging session filled with polling, sample products of different types of food service ware, and an exploration of challenges that must still be addressed in the marketplace as well as expected changes This session is focused on food service ware, but the process can be used with alternative products.

Workshop - Sustainable Foodware