Sports stadiums and entertainment venues are increasingly taking advantage of their position as closed-loop environments to reduce packaging waste. In the latest example, the Portland Trail Blazers have named foodservice packaging provider Eco-Products, a Novolex brand, as an Official Zero Waste Partner of the organization. The partnership will feature Eco-Products’ compostable foodservice packaging within the team’s home stadium, the Moda Center, and at Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum, while supporting the organization’s overall composting program and waste diversion efforts. Eco-Products will also be providing Rip City Reuse cups for Moda Center’s reusable drinkware program through a partnership with its Novolex sister company, Waddington North America.
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“We’re very excited to bring on Eco-Products as an Official Zero Waste Partner as we continue to lead sustainability efforts across professional sports,” says Brittany Saulsbury, Portland Trail Blazers sustainability operations manager. “With a goal of achieving zero waste for every event no later than 2030, we are taking bold steps in our waste management practices, and it all starts with what we source. Our partnership with Eco-Products will support and elevate our goal of only having compostables, recyclables, and reusables in our concession stands.”
Compostable foodservice packaging from Eco-Products is now available throughout the arena in the form of plates, bowls, trays, utensils, cups, straws, and more at all concession stands and premium areas. Says Saulsbury, fan participation in the compost program is extremely accessible, as all waste bins throughout the arena also feature a compost bin where Trail Blazer fans can put their plates, bowls, utensils, and any food scraps.
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The composting program directly benefits Oregon farmers. At the conclusion of events, compost bins are sorted to remove any contamination before long-time local hauler COR Disposal & Recycling collects the compost and delivers it to a fifth-generation Oregon farmer, Annen Brothers Inc., near Mount Angel, Ore. Annen Brothers composts the material into nutrient-rich soil, which is then utilized for farming and growing Oregon hazelnuts.
Says says Ian Jacobson, president of Eco-Products, “We’re thrilled to see compostables, recyclables, and reusables working together at scale in a venue like Moda Center. The culture and fanbase in the Pacific Northwest make it the perfect place to try this for the first time, and we feel lucky to be a part of it.” PW