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My employer provides snacks to employees and generally uses compostable plates, cups, and utensils. However, a significant portion of the waste stream comes from the wrappers for things like chips and cookies. If my employer wishes to provide these kinds of snack foods, how can they get the attention of manufacturers of these to provide alternative packaging which is compostable?

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  • Are the chips and cookies produced by a mega-corp like Frito Lay (nee PepsiCo) or by a local bakery? – BryanH Jan 29 '13 at 22:29
  • They are assorted, some are from mega-corps, others are from speciality companies using organic ingredients but not local bakeries. – WilliamKF Jan 30 '13 at 1:30
  • Not an answer to the question you asked, but you'd probably have more impact by (a) using durable plates/cups/utensils instead of disposable (even compostables use energy to manufacture), and/or (b) looking for suppliers that can provide "unpackaged" food (e.g. local bakeries) or packaged in something durable/reusable. Unless your employer is at the same scale as the mega-corps, it will probably be hard to get their attention in a meaningful way. But if you're spending $millions/year, telling your account mgr that you're shopping for compostable packaging should do the trick. – bstpierre Jan 31 '13 at 18:01
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The biggest cookie company in NZ (Cookie Time) started off by selling its cookies without packaging by providing large glass jars to store them (to be placed on a shop counter). It would very easy to provide some tongs and paper bags to reduce mess when handing them out. You might find a business that can provide the cookies in this way.

SunChips apparently uses biodegradable bags, as does Superfood Snacks.

It's probably easier to find businesses using sustainable packaging already rather than trying to get a large business to change. When big businesses see small businesses thriving thanks to a particular quality, they often imitate it, so you can make a difference.

Alternatively, if you could create a large enough demand for a particular product (such as forming a consortium of like minded businesses), then it might have enough influence to get a small food business to change their packaging.

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