It’s no secret that plastics pose a significant threat to the planet and our general health. But even through recycling, it’s impossible to ensure that the materials are being disposed of completely—with recent estimates citing that only 9% of plastic placed in a bin is actually recycled.
And items from within the consumer packaged goods industry—like disposable cups and meat trays—reportedly account for almost 150 million tons of single-use plastics annually.
The environmental effects of plastic are detrimental—which is actually what the sustainable technology firm, Footprint, is hoping to combat through their material science engineering.
Footprint develops and manufactures foodware technologies that are recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. The company is on a mission to support some of the world’s leading industries by offering alternatives for brands to “switch out of plastic to preserve the future.”
“Companies that really understand the flaws of recycling and want to evolve their brands for the better, they’re trying to get away from plastic and to use something that’s compostable,” says Susan Koehler, Chief Marketing Officer of Footprint. “We’re the leader in terms of having plant-based alternatives.”
The concept for the company comes from the minds of former Intel engineers Troy Swope and Yoke Chung—who founded the company in 2013. They began by trying to get a greater sense of the plastic problem within America. Through searching store aisles, they discovered that everything from TV packaging to wine shippers used the material in some capacity—and they followed up on their findings by cold-calling manufacturers in the hopes of securing business.
Today, the company—with headquarters based in Gilbert, Arizona—employs more than 1,200 people, and is currently providing compostable materials to global brands like Tyson Foods, Molson Coors, Wegmans, Conagra and more. To date, Footprint is credited with preventing over 61 million pounds of plastics from entering the environment.
The brand has garnered particular recognition for their thoughtfully made, high-quality product offerings. Footprint uses materials such as virgin newsprint, bamboo and double-lined kraft, among other items, to produce their fully biodegradable items. The products are also made with molded fiber, which is engineered to outperform plastic.
“If you look at the trends in 2020, and what they’re projecting for 2021, sustainability is absolutely one of the top five trends. And the reason for that is that more and more data supports the idea that recycling does not work,” says Koehler. “People are demanding change—and Footprint is championing it.”
For more information, visit www.footprintus.com.