The Moda Center (pictured), home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, achieved an 87 percent landfill waste diversion rate in 2013 to date and has saved more than $567,000 in costs associated with waste disposal since 2008.
This is one example of how major league teams are using compostable food service items and new collection practices to divert organic waste from landfills, says NatureWorks, which makes Inego biplastic.
At the annual Green Sports Summit in New York City, Aug. 26-28, the company will discuss how a growing number of sports teams, including the Trail Blazers, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and the MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates, are using sustainable materials such as Inego to lower the environmental footprint of their sports venues.
As another example, the Xcel Energy Center, where the Minnesota Wild play, implemented a waste management program in 2009. Over two years, the facility reduced its trash by 65 percent and increased its annual recycling rate from 15 to 56 percent.
And PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, has increased its waste diversion rate from 28 percent in 2008 to 65 percent in 2012.
Ingeo bioplastic helps Green Sports Alliance members achieve these targets, says Doug Kunneman, foodservice industry segment manager for NatureWorks. Ingeo is made from plants, not oil, with uses spanning multiple industries and categories, including foodservice ware and food packaging, low-carbon-footprint carpet and flooring, blinds, wall covering, signage, clothing, health and personal care packaging and durable products.
While Ingeo bioplastics and fibers — such as carpeting or translucent signage — can lower a sports venue’s carbon footprint over the long term, one of the ways that a stadium can have a nearly immediate impact both on its community and its bottom line is to divert organic waste and foodservice ware from landfills to municipal composting, NatureWorks says.
At the summit, companies that convert Ingeo bioplastic into plates, trays, cups, and utensils will exhibit their products. These companies include Stalkmarket, Eco Products, and World Centric.
The Portland Trail Blazers and five other major league sports teams founded the Green Sports Alliance in March 2011. The nonprofit aims to reduce sports’ environmental impact.
Last week, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) joined forces with the Green Sports Alliance to promote green building initiatives and accelerate LEED-certified venues in professional and collegiate sports.