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Google is taking the lead in the fight against single-use plastics by launching the Single-Use Plastic Challenge. This initiative invites food and beverage companies to submit their innovative, plastic-free packaging solutions for single-use items in the food service industry. The goal is to reduce the sector’s plastic footprint and promote sustainable practices at Google’s own facilities.
Teaming up with top food service management company Canteen and other food service partners, Google aims to select the most promising proposals. The successful entrants will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to Google and test their products at the tech giant’s cafes and MicroKitchens across the US.
Google’s objective is to eliminate single-use disposable products from its onsite food service operations, replacing them with reusable packaging, distribution, and delivery alternatives. The proposed solutions must adhere to federal, state, and local food safety regulations, as well as Google Food program’s health, environmental, social, and financial standards.
With National Geographic reporting that a staggering 91% of plastic goes unrecycled and ends up in landfills or polluting the environment, Google’s challenge seeks to promote a circular economy for packaging. By supporting new packaging solutions, the company hopes to inspire broader industry action toward sustainability.
Innovative companies are already making strides in this space. Reusable container firm BIBAK raised €6 million in additional funding earlier this year, aiming to capitalize on France’s ban on single-use packaging in restaurants and cafes. Intraplás has employed TotalEnergies‘ RE:newable polymer to create food-contact drop-in solutions, offering customers a lower carbon footprint.
Last year, Google for Startups Ukraine Support Fund awarded $100,000 to Releaf Paper, a company producing paper packaging from cellulose fiber found in fallen leaves.
As a sustainability enthusiast, you can join the movement by supporting businesses that use eco-friendly packaging and reducing your own single-use plastic consumption. Encourage local restaurants and cafes to adopt sustainable alternatives, and spread the word about innovative solutions. Together, we can make a difference in creating a greener, cleaner future.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!