July 2012

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Sustainability wins hands down at Olympics

Sustainable packaging made from plants is set to play a major role at the London Olympics, with fast food chain McDonald’s, which will be running the largest food outlet at the games, using Novamont’s Mater-Bi bioplastics for its cups, cutlery, straws, lids and containers.

McDonald’s says its products were already compliant with the EN13432 compostability standards but did not have the certification, but it has worked towards this end over the past two years.

Italy-based Novamont says its Mater-Bi will compost with anaerobic digestion, allowing the expected 3,300 tonnes of food and food-related packaging waste that the games will generate easier to handle than conventional materials.

The London event is dedicated to becoming the first ever zero waste Games and bioeconomy consultants NNFCC have been advising the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) on the best solutions to achieve this goal.

This resulted in the decision to use food packaging made from plant starch and cellulose at the games, with LOCOG targeting 70% of the waste produced by the events to be recycled, re-used or composted.