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Eco-Products equips Portland Trail Blazers with compostable foodservice packs

#Eco-Products equips Portland Trail Blazers with compostable foodservice packs

31 Oct 2023 — The Portland Trail Blazers, a US basketball team, has named Eco-Products as an “Official Zero Waste Partner.” The partnership will feature compostable foodservice packaging from Eco-Products within Oregon-based sporting venues Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum while supporting the organization’s overall composting program and waste diversion efforts. 

Eco-Products will also provide Rip City Reuse cups for Moda Center’s reusable drinkware program through a partnership with its Novolex sister company, Waddington North America. 

“All the packaging used in the venue will be ‘compostable’ and BPI-certified. Terminology is important here, as many products marketed as ‘biodegradable’ do not meet the standards for compostability established by ASTM and certified by BPI. This is why a growing number of states have made it illegal to market products as ‘biodegradable,’” Wendell Simonson, director of marketing for Eco-Products, tells Packaging Insights

Packaging sustainability in sports 
The Moda Center, previously known as the Rose Garden, is a 20,000-person arena in Portland, Oregon, that is home to the Portland Trail Blazers and hosts an array of sporting events, concerts, and other productions.

“We’re very excited to bring on Eco-Products as an Official Zero Waste Partner as we continue to lead [environmental] sustainability efforts across professional sports,” says Brittany Saulsbury, Portland Trail Blazers’ sustainability operations manager. 

People watching basketball game in stadium. Compostable food packaging presents an option to reduce single-use packaging waste at sporting events.“With a goal of achieving zero waste for every event no later than 2030, we are taking steps in our waste management practices and it 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.” 

Ian Jacobson, president of Eco-Products, adds: “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.” 

Fan participation, benefiting farmers
Compostable foodservice packaging, provided by Eco-Products, is available throughout the arena as plates, bowls, trays, utensils, cups and straws at all concession stands and premium areas. 

Fan participation in the compost program is 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.  

Furthermore, members of Rip City can participate in a composting program that benefits Oregon farmers. Annen Brothers composts the material into nutrient-rich soil, which is then utilized for farming and growing Oregon hazelnuts. 

“COR Disposal & Recycling will collect the food scraps, packaging and other organics and deliver them to Annen Brothers in Oregon. Once there, they will be processed into finished compost and used as a soil amendment in the Annen Brothers hazelnut orchards,” concludes Simonson.

By Natalie Schwertheim

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