A group of businesses and environmental leaders jointly launched the Plant Based Products Council (PBPC), a group of organizations working to guide the global economy toward more sustainable and responsible consumer products and packaging through greater use of plant-based materials. The launch was announced at the California Air Resources Board’s California Bioresource Economy Summit.
Recognizing that the ever-growing global demand for consumer goods and convenient packaging poses a serious threat to the environment, the PBPC promotes the adoption and use of products derived from renewable biomass. The group will advocate for private sector programs and government policies to encourage use of renewable materials and feedstocks, including policies to reduce carbon emissions, improve water quality and soil health and curtail solid waste destined for landfills by purposeful closed loop end-of-life strategies through recycling and composting.
“Businesses and consumers alike recognize the need to solve the problem of plastic pollution that harms our environment,” said John Bode, president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association, in a statement. “The PBPC will seek plant-based solutions, bringing together government, nonprofit and corporate entities to address environmental challenges while driving economic opportunity.”
PBPC’s membership includes businesses large and small, from across the United States, that produce, distribute or sell products/packaging from renewable biomass inputs, as well as those organizations that have made related public commitments to build a more sustainable future. In addition to its membership, the PBPC features an advisory board consisting of environmental organizations and NGOs.
“This initiative adds much needed diversity to a changing conversation,” said Nina Goodrich, executive director of GreenBlue, in a statement. “The Plant Based Product Council is an exciting new voice seeking sustainable packaging solutions to our material recovery challenges.”
Today, nearly 80 percent of plastics are in a landfill or polluting the environment, and even among recyclables, most plastics never reach the intended facilities.
Polling, conducted in August 2018 and released by the Plant Based Products Council, reinforces the notion that millennial consumers are supportive of bioplastics and even willing to pay more for them. Findings in the polling include:
- 48 percent of millennial respondents feel most guilty about their own plastic use compared to other resources, such as paper (33 percent), water (31 percent) or the amount they drive (19 percent).
- 64 percent are willing to use alternatives to plastic.
- 60 percent are surprised by the lack of alternative options to plastic.
- While only 13 percent are “very familiar” with bioplastic, once described, 90 percent become favorable to bioplastics.
In addition to providing a platform for collaboration, the PBPC launched an extensive database, featuring more than 480 plant-based and biobased products currently on the market, with plans to continue to expand the database. The database showcases the versatility of plant-based materials and is designed to help guide businesses and consumers toward more sustainable decisions.
“My hope is that this new council will greatly aid UC ANR’s efforts to pursue forest health and improve farm profitability by finding new, more valuable products made from biomass,” said Glenda Humiston, University of California vice president for agriculture and natural resources, in a statement.
The following companies are founding members of the PBPC: Georgia-Pacific, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Tate & Lyle, Ingredion, WestRock-Multi Packaging Solutions, Stone Straw, Loliware, Visolis Biotechnology, Newtrient, Future iQ, Emerald Brands, Hemp Road Trip, Hemp Industries Association and Tree Free Hemp.
The following organizations and individuals will serve on PBPC’s advisory board: GreenBlue, Californians Against Waste, International Conservation Caucus Foundation, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Professor Ramani Narayan of Michigan State University’s Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science.