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December 15, 2021

Boulder County selects five food and beverage companies for pollution reduction program


Initiative will reduce environmental impacts of food and beverage packaging


Boulder County, COFive local food and beverage businesses have been selected to participate in the Boulder County Food & Beverage Pollution-Reduced Packaging Pilot: Future Fit Foods, Hävenly, Pastificio Boulder, Quinn Snacks, and The Tea Spot.

Boulder County invited food and beverage manufacturers to apply to participate in an EPA-supported pilot program assisting the transition to pollution-reduced and sustainable packaging formats. To be eligible for the pilot program, businesses had to be food or beverage manufacturers with headquarters or a business location within Boulder County.

Boulder County received 30 eligible applications with a total request of $358,000 for packaging redesign. The county will award $40,000 in incentives to the five accepted teams to help them transition to pollution reduced packaging formats. If the teams are successful in completing their transitions, they have the potential to reduce the pollution impacts of 2.1 million product units manufactured annually.

“The teams have unique challenges, sustainability goals, and products," said Deandra Croissant, Boulder County Sustainability Specialist. "This makes for a diverse pilot that will help us gain insights on the cost and environmental performance of various pollution-reduced packaging types. We're looking forward to seeing what's possible when it comes to circular design and improved environmental performance of food and beverage packaging.”

“We need to reuse and reduce packaging at the front end, and not later when it is in the waste stream," said Commissioner Matt Jones. "I am proud that these Boulder County companies are partnering with us to help solve this problem, internalize costs, and take climate action.”

The pilot program is funded by the EPA Source Reduction Assistance grant program. Each pilot team will receive 20-30 hours of technical assistance from Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) consultants, in addition to participation in a collaborative workshop.

Selected businesses and projects:

Future Fit Foods | $10,000: Implementing a pilot to replace single-use corrugated shipping boxes — used for SUPPAS mail orders — with RePack reusable envelopes to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 85%; identifying an industrial compostable ink that will help their printing partners achieve printed product level certification for ReEarth pouches; implementing packaging trials to test new edible and home compostable packaging currently in the prototype stage.

"The Boulder County Food & Beverage Pollution-Reduced Packaging Pilot program provides the technical and financial support that Future Fit Foods needed to take our circular packaging commitments to the next level," said Future Fit Foods Co-Founder and CEO Paloma Lopez. "We’re beyond excited that our line of plant-based SUPPAS can be the vessel for change towards circular food packaging solutions."

Future Fit Foods

Future Fit Foods Co-Founders Sean Ansett and Paloma Lopez

Hävenly | $5,000: Seeking environmentally friendly packaging for their baked goods and bake-at-home bread mixes. In particular, Hävenly will evaluate options that fulfill requirements of displaying and protecting their baked goods while taking into account environmental impacts. Areas of interest include cellulose bags, re-sealable compostable kraft tin-tie bags, and environmentally friendly yeast packaging alternatives.

"As a small Boulder-based bakery we are thrilled to be part of the pilot study," said Hävenly Founder Katarina Schare. "It provides much needed support in evaluating sustainable packaging options for Hävenly's baked goods and bread mixes, and it connects us with other food manufacturers that share our zero waste mission. We hope to be a pioneer when it comes to plastic free packaging for bakeries."

Havenly

Hävenly Founder Katarina Schare

Pastificio Boulder | $5,000: Seeking a naturally biodegradable and recyclable whole solution for their paperboard packaging needs that are environmentally sustainable in every regard, including not using bleached paper products or toxic glue adhesives.

"The food manufacturing world desperately needs more sustainable awareness built into every action it takes," said Pastificio Boulder Co-Founder Ted Steen. "We were very excited to learn about the Boulder County Food & Beverage Pollution-Reduced Packing Pilot initiative and are eager to learn so much more about our packaging options, which ones are the most sustainable, and why!"

Pastaficio Boulder

Pastificio Co-Founders Ted Steen and Claudia Bouvier

Quinn Snacks | $10,000: Exploring recyclable or compostable packaging options for their line of microwave popcorn products.

"Since 2010 Quinn has been on a mission to Be Better and Do Better for our families, communities, and future generations," said Quinn Snacks Founder and CEO Kristy Lewis. "As a small brand, sustainable packaging options have been a constant challenge for us, as well as our industry as a whole. We're excited for this opportunity to partner in our community with Boulder County to push our products and food packaging in the right direction."

Quinn Snacks

Quinn Snacks Founder and CEO Kristy Lewis

The Tea Spot | $10,000: Researching alternatives for their stand up pouches and other tea packaging material.

"We at The Tea Spot are thrilled to have been selected to participate in Boulder County's Pollution-Reduced Packaging Pilot program," said The Tea Spot Founder and CEO Maria Uspenski. "We are eager to educate ourselves and our consumers on the importance and necessity of sustainable packaging. Through this pilot program, we look forward to sourcing sustainable packaging for all of our tasty tea products."

The Tea Spot

The Tea Spot Founder and CEO Maria Uspenski

For more information about this program, contact Christian Herrmann at cherrmann@bouldercounty.org.


Mission of the Office of Sustainability, Climate Action & Resilience

Our mission is to advance policies and programs that conserve resources, protect the environment, and safeguard our climate in order to build a sustainable, just, and resilient community.