BASF, The Chemical Company, says it has made a game-changing breakthrough toward sustainable snack packaging that can help companies and communities everywhere get closer to their goal of zero waste. Earlier this month, BASF partnered with The Seattle Mariners to debut prototype packaging developed with its advanced biopolymer technology for peanut packaging. The first 10,000 fans that arrived at Safeco Field to see the Seattle Mariners take on the Boston Red Sox received a free bag of peanuts in a 100% compostable snack bag.
The snack-food package was constructed of a six-layer food packaging material made up of multiple BASF technologies, including film resins, inks, adhesives and primers. The new packaging is fully compostable, so it can go to industrial composting facilities instead of landfill.
“Flexible packaging with this BASF technology is a big step forward for the snack-food industry,” says Kimberley Schiltz, market development manager Consumer Packaging, BASF. “It means that popular snack foods can be brought to market in compostable packaging that delivers needed shelf life at a competitive price point, with a more sustainable ‘end-of-life’ solution than with conventional packaging materials.”
As a member of the Green Sports Alliance, the Seattle Mariners’ aggressive zero-waste goals made Safeco Field a natural place for BASF to introduce this new sustainable snack packaging to the American public. This season, the team is on track to divert 85% of its waste from landfills, up from just 12% in 2006. Mariners vice president of operations Scott Jenkins has his sights set on 90% diversion, but closing the gap has proven to be an elusive goal.
“All of our service ware is already compostable, but snack-food bags have been one of the biggest barriers preventing us from getting to our goal,” says Jenkins. “Flexible packaging made with BASF biopolymers could represent the holy grail of greening for our waste stream.
“Whenever there are contaminants in our compost stream, like regular snack bags and candy wrappers, we have to pay a premium to have them removed by hand. If all of the snacks sold at Safeco came in compostable packaging, it would represent a significant savings of time and money for the team and get us a whole lot closer to achieving zero waste.”