The Good Foods' Blog

Making Sustainable Strides – New Co+op Cups and Bowls

What’s better than a hot and toasty beverage or a warm bowl of soup from the Co-op Café on a lovely autumn day? One that’s delivered in a 100% compostable package, of course!

We are happy to announce that starting this month Good Foods Co-op will be transitioning to hot beverage cups, soup containers and lids that are fully compostable, helping your Co-op meet sustainability goals and reduce landfill waste.

Compostability is possible thanks to the use of polylactic acid (PLA) in the container linings and lids. PLA-based packaging materials show environmental promise as an alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics and they are one good way to help create a less polluted ecosystem. PLA is a bioplastic, derived from renewable plant resources that will break down into soil when properly composted in commercial composting facilities.

While the City of Lexington cancelled its composting pilot program earlier this year, this packaging change means the Co-op is poised when our next composting option becomes available.

Because we are committed to transparency, we want our customers to know that the PLA plastic lining these new hot beverage cups and soup containers utilize is corn-based (the most common kind) and the reality is that the vast majority of corn grown in the U.S. today is genetically modified. This means these new items are partially produced with genetic engineering, a label that all National Co+op Grocers (NCG) co-ops have opted to include on the bottom of the hot cups and soup containers because we believe that our customers have the right to know what they are purchasing and how it was made.

NCG is working on our behalf to source these items through Eco-Products, a national leader in compostable packaging. Both NCG and Eco-Products share our strong desire to source materials made from non-GMO sources, and are actively encouraging suppliers to bring viable non-GMO options to market. In fact, since 2011 NCG has called on Congress to require food manufacturers to label GMO foods so that people can make informed purchasing decisions.

We will continue to listen to our Co-op community and push for more sustainable packaging options for our customers and also better recycling and composting programs in Lexington and the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky. You encourage these changes by making your voices heard and by shopping here, so thank you! Together we can leave this planet in better shape than we found it.