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15 Sep 2014
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Compostability standards for packaging among sustainability practices during the Olympics

With the Olympics now underway, Resource takes a look at a few of the ways that sustainable practices are playing a role in the 'greenest games ever'.

So far, the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG) has: implemented 4,000 containers for recycling, composting and residual waste across Olympic venues; installed a black water filtration system; encouraged eco-friendly construction; and opened a new sustainable education hub, the One Planet Centre. Most recently, LOGOC divulged that it has also set out standards for all packaging used during the games.

The LOCOG standards require that all food packaging products, if not readily recyclable, must meet European standard EN 13432 and be biodegradable. The committee has also established waste processing guidelines in order to separate recyclable material and ensure that waste material is diverted for use in waste-for-energy plants as part of its ongoing commitment to see 70 per cent of the waste produced at the event sent for recycling, re-use or composting.

In order to meet the European food packaging standard, all cutlery, straws, cups and lids being used at the games are made with Mater-Bi®, a biodegradable and compostable bioplastic created by bioplastic manufacturer, Novamont.

"I admire the far-sightedness and perspicacity LOCOG demonstrated in their programme to make this London Olympics a truly sustainable event, and Novamont is proud to have played a part in this", said Catia Bastioli, Novamont's managing director.

McDonalds is among the companies complying with the LOCOG sustainability standards and have ensured that all of their packaging are EN 13432 certified.

"Many McDonald's items were already compliant with the EN 13432 compostability standards, but did not have the certification", said Helen McFarlane, McDonald's environment consultant.

Further details of the Olympic Park’s sustainable actions can be found on the LOGOC website.

 

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