A “significant” proportion of food packaging used at the London 2012 Olympics will be compostable and the rest will be recyclable or reusable.
Originally the National Non-Food Crops Centre had aimed for all the packaging at the Olympics to be made from compostable material but this has not been possible.
However, “a significant portion” will be compostable and labelling combined with a press campaign will be launched to make sure that consumers at the games know which bin to put their wrappers in.
The London Olympic bid pledged to “set new standards of sustainability,” not send any waste to landfill and ensure a minimum of 70% of waste was reused.
And the NNFCC and the British Printing Industries Federation have been working with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to make this happen.
NNFCC Head of Materials Dr John Williams said: “The London Olympics has given us a unique opportunity to showcase the benefits of using compostable packaging, particularly for food, and recovering its stored energy at end-of-life using anaerobic digestion.”
European Bioplastics Association Chairman Andy Sweetman added: “Using renewable materials at the Olympics is a great way to demonstrate to the public how seriously the packaging industry is taking sustainability.
“Moving the packaging industry towards a low carbon economy is challenging but bioplastic manufacturers are at the forefront of innovation.”
The compostable packaging will be certified to EN 13432. Some 6.5 million people will attend the London Olympics and are expected to create over 3,300 tonnes of food packaging waste.