No Free Refills on Fast Food Plantations

A North Carolina-based marketplace activist group called Dogwood Alliance has recently issued their 2008 Fast Food Industry Packaging Report. Their mission centers on deforestation in the southern U.S. caused by the fast-food industry--the competitiveness, the pressing need for branding, and, of course, the often-thoughtless habits of a consumer society. Some highlights from their report:
  • Sales for the 400 largest US-based fast food chains were $277.2 billion last year, up 6.8% from the year before
  • 300 lbs. of packaging waste is generated each year for each person in the U.S. (with 300 million people, that's 90,000,000,000 lbs. per year)
  • U.S. consumers use 15 billion disposable hot cups per year
  • 32% of the domestic waste stream is packaging and containers
  • Fast food packaging makes up 20% of litter, while another 20% consists of other snack waste (soda bottles, candy bar wrappers, etc.)
  • In the south, 43 million acres of forests have been converted into paper and pulp plantations to nourish these habits
That's why Dogwood Alliance has formed, a campaign to "educate the public and the marketplace about the negative environmental impact on southern forests caused by the business as usual fast food packaging," calling for fast food giants to move toward more responsible paper practices. Read the full report HERE.

And to put the U.S.'s habits in perspective, check out this article about recent food riots in Somalia.
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  1. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Food riots are starting to pop up everywhere - not just Somalia - yet the U.S. continues to live with their head in the sand.
    It would be nice to see a post about the food riots occurring around the world.

  2. Anonymous2:13 PM

    I don't understand why we can't go back to refillable containers. What's wrong with glass returnable bottles for all these juices, sodas, and waters? The switch to plastic disposable bottles has to be one of the worst corporate decisions of all time. It increased reliance on oil (plastic is an oil-based product), increased waste and litter around the world, and is perhaps poisoning consumers through leaching chemicals from the plastic itself!!!


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