St. Paul, Minnesota (PressExposure) October 17, 2011 -- In an effort to conserve these resources and minimize waste, The Minnesota Zoo is incorporating "green" practices into its design and every day operations.
The Zoo recently formed a Green Team, whose main goal is promoting activities aimed at sustainability. One of the initiatives lead to development of a composting program that greatly reduces the amount of waste generated. The program was implemented in the spring of 2011, using Cortec's Eco Film®, a 100% biodegradable and compostable film, designed specifically for the unique demands of compost programs. Eco Film® replaces non-degradable starch and polyethylene- based films, and is up to 300% stronger than polyethylene.
As part of their Green team initiative, the Zoo recycled 370 tons of material, and composted about 600 tons of waste just last year! The program generates a great quantity of finished compost, which is then used as a soil mix additive and as mulch on existing turf areas. Its goal is to divert food waste at the zoo, and reduce the trash that is taken into area landfills. The zoo will be selling finished compost in the bulk to the public, which will be used as fertilizer for crops, farms and gardens.
This concept of reusing, composting and recycling of materials is applicable to all kinds of large gathering places. Venues where large volumes of food are consumed lead to large quantities of organic waste. This includes stadiums, national parks, amusement parks, cruisers, fairs, large resorts, hotels and many more.
Before starting the composting program, the zoo tested all certified commercially available compostable plastics from various manufacturers. According to Brenda Teats (Director of Corporate Giving, Minnesota Zoo), "Staff tested a number of different compostable bags, and the ones from Cortec performed by far the best".
Now, Eco Film® bags are used for food waste created by employees, staff, their catering service, as well as during summer Zoo Camp - with plans to expand to common areas soon.
"When the Zoo contacted us to participate in their composting program, there was no doubt we were more than happy to help", says Cliff Cracauer (Vice President of Sales, Cortec Corporation). "They are considered one of the ten best Zoo's in the nation, so it shouldn't be a surprise they are taking innovative steps to be Green. The Minnesota Zoo should be commended for their work. It sends a powerful message to the community about sustainability."
It is more important than ever that people make prompt decisions that will help to avoid the effects of plastic pollution. As a company determined to make a positive impact on the environment, we hope that the Minnesota Zoo Green Program will positively influence many other communities throughout the world to take actions and encourage this kind of green projects.