Earth911 Podcast: Better Earth’s Savannah Seydel on Compostable Packaging
Savannah Seydel, vice president of sustainability and impact at Better Earth, a maker of compostable tableware and food service packaging, is on a mission to remove petroleum-based plastics and PFAS-treated fiber from our food packaging choices. Food packaging and service ware are two of the largest sources of plastic pollution. The rise of compostable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics could change the character of food service materials, making restaurants, cafeterias, and food delivery packaging part of the circular economy, where materials flow from nature to human use and back to nature again. Better Earth makes a wide range of hot and cold food packaging using renewable, sustainably grown fiber and PLA, an industrially compostable bio-plastic — this packaging now represents about 8% of the food service industry.
Better Earth sells packaging to businesses, not consumers. The company has established an in-house design studio that creates packaging and circular services. For example, they’ve partnered with farmers in their Atlanta office to source fiber from switchgrass and other cover crops, which provides new revenue streams to support family farms. Better Earth also works to develop collection programs that get recovered packaging and food waste into the composting system and, ultimately, back to the farms where it can nourish the soil. Savannah describes their Field to Food to Field strategy as “borrowing biological resources and putting them back again.” You can learn more about Better Earth at https://becompostable.com/