This Week in Sustainability

Baltimore outlaws foam takeout containers, while Pizza Hut tests a round, eco-friendly box.

October 25, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Sustainability is fast becoming top of mind for convenience retailers, and at NACS Daily, our newsfeed is brimming with headlines about efforts to minimize waste—of the packaging or food variety—and to reduce or offset carbon emissions. So we’re launching “This Week in Sustainability” to highlight some of these stories from around the internet.

From design to operations to packaging, here’s some of the latest news in sustainability related to the convenience and fuel retailing industry.

Baltimore’s ban on plastic foam food containers is now in effect. C-stores with foodservice operations in the city beware. The ban took effect Oct. 19 and applies to all foodservice businesses, including restaurants, food trucks and school cafeterias. Fines start at $200 for violations. Annapolis has a similar ban, and Maryland’s statewide ban takes effect in 2020. (Source: AP)

Pizza Hut is testing a compostable pizza box in Arizona. The new round box with a snap-closure lid is made of plant fiber, and groves inside the box are designed to keep the pizza hot and crispy. Pizza Hut is testing the round box for a limited time at one location in Phoenix, serving up a Garden Specialty Pizza with a plant-based sausage topping. Pizza Hut said it is exploring ways to introduce the new box in other locations. (Sources: Pizza Hut)

Anheuser-Busch plans to ditch the paper labels on certain beer bottles in the U.K. AB InBev is exploring plans to eliminate the paper labels on its beer bottles in favor of printing its brand directly on the glass using only ink. The move won’t impact the U.S. market yet—AB InBev is launching the new bottles in the United Kingdom as part of a limited-edition run of Beck’s Artist Series. (Source: MarketWatch)

Electric vehicle prices are now in range of younger car buyers. The price of electric vehicles is nearing the price of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, which is good news for consumers, especially younger ones with more modest incomes waiting on the sidelines to buy an EV. More than 70% of electric car buyers have incomes of at least $100,000, while only 10% of electric car buyers are between the ages of 25 and 34. Lithium-ion battery prices plummeted 70% between 2010 and 2016, helping to bring down overall EV costs. Gas station operators looking to get into the EV charging game should get moving. (Source: CNBC)

Fiji Water will use more recycled content in its PET water bottles. The bottled water company, a subsidiary of The Wonderful Company, aims to make all of its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025, with 20% meeting the target in 2020. A staple in the c-store cold case, FIJI Water also plans to introduce a new 2.5-gallon packaging option for home refrigerators or counters and a 5-gallon option designed to fit in a standard hot and cold water dispenser as an alternative to single-use bottles. (Source: Fiji Water).

For a good read on the anti-waste movement, head over to NACS Magazine to read “The New Plastic Economy” in the September issue. And to hear what industry veteran Jacob Schram has to say about capitalizing on the EV evolution, read “EVs Ahead” in the August issue.