In November 2017, when Jack Cooper retired from the company he founded in October 1990, the Food Industry Environmental Network, while dining at a Wendy’s, he noticed all the uneaten food, food containers, wrappers and service ware were being bagged and placed in a dumpster destined for landfill disposal. He asked himself why is that waste not used for animal feed? He reasoned that if the plastic in the waste could be replaced by animal digestible food packaging, much of the waste generated by consumers at quick service restaurants and by grocery stores could become a resource by being manufactured into animal feed, keeping it out of landfills and the environment. Since plastic replacements that would be digestible by animals either do not exist or are not readily available, and to his knowledge there is no unified research effort underway to discover animal digestible food packaging, Jack decided to put his many years of food industry experience to work by establishing and personally funding a nonprofit, the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative.
The goal of the Initiative is to encourage/convince/inspire/persuade grocery stores, quick service restaurants, food manufacturers, food packaging manufacturers, nongovernmental organizations and grant funding organizations to cooperate in the establishment of a public-private partnership (PPP) with the objective of funding research necessary for the discovery of new plastic replacing food packaging materials that not only meet food safety, integrity and quality requirements but that are also digestible by animals so that food waste that is accompanied by food packaging may be kept out of landfills by being manufactured into animal feed.
Through his experience with promoting the ADFP Initiative, Jack became aware of the need for current, non-opinionated, factual and scientific based information about the environmental effects of improperly discarded plastic food packaging, which is looming scientific, regulatory, legislative and public affairs issue for the food industry. To meet this need, in February 2020, he founded Plastic Food Packaging Waste News (PFPW.NEWS) as a Maryland Limited Liability Company (LLC) with Matt Tarka as a partner and as web master and social media director.
The purpose of PFPW.NEWS is to assist its readers in their individual effort to stay informed with publicly available information concerning the after-use environmental life of plastic food packaging waste, including legislation and regulation, alternative materials, recycling, composting, incineration, and degradation of PFPW into micro and incidental nanoparticles.