Seattle Mariners embrace game-changing packaging

BASF Australia Ltd
Wednesday, 05 September, 2012

Baseball seems an unlikely place for environmental initiatives. The combination of packaged foods, soft drink containers and ticket stubs adds up to considerable quantities of waste. But one team - the Seattle Mariners - is hoping to change baseball’s waste footprint.

On 5 September, the first 10,000 fans to arrive at Safeco Field to cheer on the Seattle Mariners or Boston Red Sox will receive a free bag of peanuts in fully compostable prototype packaging developed with BASF’s advance biopolymer technology.

“Flexible packaging with this BASF technology is a big step forward for the snack food industry,” said Kimberley Schiltz, Market Development Manager Consumer Packaging, BASF. “It means that popular snack foods can be brought to market in compostable packaging that delivers needed shelf life at a competitive price point, with a more sustainable ‘end-of-life’ solution than with conventional packaging materials.”

Claimed to be one of the greenest teams in Major League Baseball, the Seattle Mariners team is a member of the Green Sports Alliance. This season, the team will divert 85% of its waste from landfills - a dramatic improvement, considering it managed only 12% in 2006.

Scott Jenkins, Mariners’ Vice President of Operations, had hoped to achieve 90% diversion of waste, but the team struggled with the last 5%. “All of our service ware is already compostable, but snack food bags have been one of the biggest barriers preventing us from getting to our goal,” Jenkins said. “Flexible packaging made with BASF biopolymers could represent the Holy Grail of greening for our waste stream.”

“Whenever there are contaminants in our compost stream, like regular snack bags and candy wrappers, we have to pay a premium to have them removed by hand,” Jenkins added. “If all of the snacks sold at Safeco came in compostable packaging, it would represent a significant savings of time and money for the team and get us a whole lot closer to achieving zero waste.”

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