During many stages of a product’s life cycle, businesses and institutions support sustainable product creation and use. Many businesses buy and use biobased products, especially restaurants. For instance, Stonyfield Farms and Whole Foods Market both promote sustainable agriculture practices while Cedar Grove Composting prevents contaminants from entering their facility.
Examples of Business that Promote More Sustainable Agricultural Practices
Stonyfield Farms in 2010 purchased Working Landscapes Certificates for the production of their corn-based multipack yogurt containers. The purchase resulted in 500 acres of corn being grown more sustainably.
Whole Foods Market advocated buying only GMO-free products. They are also one of the only businesses that will not buy PLA (corn-based) products because of their potential to compete with food crops.
Examples of Businesses that Promote Best Practices for Recovery
Cedar Grove Compostingtests all BPI certified products in their facility before approving and widely accepting them. Approved products display either a brown band or a transparent brown label that says, “CEDAR GROVE COMPOSTABLE.” This system of labeling helps to quickly identify and divert compostable plastics that will not degrade and decreases the number of contaminants in the compost pile. The company provides a comprehensive list of approved compostable products that businesses in the greater Seattle area can buy.
NatureWorks LLC is committed to developing recycling systems for PLA (polylactic acid). In 2005, they established the North American “Buy Back” program allowing recyclers to sell bales of Ingeo bottles back to NatureWorks since recycling PLA is not widespread.
Galactic LooPla is the first company to invest in chemical recycling of PLA, or hydrolysis.
Hydrolysis is a process in which PLA resin can be recycled indefinitely without additional virgin polymer. Galactic has collaborated with NatureWorks to collect post-consumer and post-industrial PLA for their recycling process.