Jack Cooper

IFT and author Dale Buss (July) are to be commended for prominently bringing the plastic waste “tsunami” issue to the attention of IFT members. While foodservice operators, manufacturers, and marketers are separately seeking solutions, wouldn’t it be more efficient if they worked together through a public-private partnership (PPP) that includes such federal funding agencies as the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) (foundationfar.org)?

A PPP board would be able to secure research funding and establish research priorities and application procedures. Engagement with a spectrum of industry, academic, consumer, regulatory, and public stakeholders could best address and balance inherent food safety, integrity, and quality requirements as well as the environmental, infrastructure, and financial considerations involved in what should be a united priority effort to discover new food packaging materials.

IFT and author Ian Robertson (March) are also to be commended for bringing the issue of the natural formation of microplastic particles from degrading plastic to the attention of IFT members. The micro, nano plastic particle issue amplifies the need for the various sectors of the food chain to work cooperatively to find new food packaging materials.

—Jack Cooper, Executive Director, Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative