Tailgating at your favorite sports events is almost as big a draw as the game itself, with lots of food, lots of fun – and, unfortunately, lots of waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, large college stadiums can generate 100 tons of waste per game. But you can help reduce game day waste by taking a few simple steps, such as choosing the right packaging, recycling everything you can, and using tailgating essentials made with recycled plastics.
Here are some tips for minimizing waste at your next tailgate:
* Airtight: Choose airtight plastic packaging, such as zipper bags, factory-sealed pouches, cling wrap, and reusable storage containers to help keep food fresh and free of contaminants that could cause spoilage. This can help reduce the likelihood that food will need to be thrown out.
* Minimalist: Recent innovations are leading to new, minimalist packaging designs that help protect food with less material, helping reduce packaging waste. Look for thin, lightweight pouches and bags for game day foods, such as nuts, cheeses, and deli meats, just to name a few.
* Lightweight: Look for beverages sold in lightweight plastic bottles and containers – they’re shatter-resistant which contributes to safety, they typically use less material than alternatives (resulting in less packaging waste), and they’re accepted for recycling in most communities.
* Recycling: Place clearly labeled bags or bins at your tailgate to remind everyone to recycle used plastic packaging and other recyclables. More and more everyday plastic bottles and containers can be recycled in curbside programs, including beverage bottles, ketchup and mustard bottles, containers for sour cream and dip, deli containers, caps and lids, and more. Even plastic bags and wraps – grocery bags, zipper bags, bread and bun bags, wraps for cases of water and soft drinks – can be returned to participating grocery and retail stores for recycling. Check your community’s website or visit www.iwanttoberecycled.org or www.Earth911.com to find out how to recycle as much as possible in your community.
* Recycled: Finally, seek out products made with recycled plastics. Thanks to increased plastics recycling, it’s never been easier to find tailgating essentials made with recycled plastics, such as coolers, serving utensils, plates, cups and bowls.