Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Greens the Mt. Airy Night Market with Sustainable PackagingBy Shannon Collins |
As the Night Market heads to Mt. Airy, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful will be defraying waste by swapping out the packaging cartons of 11 food vendors with more sustainable ones.
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit with the mission to “ engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments,” will make sure that food will be served in compostable or biodegradable products that will lessen the environmental impact.
According to statement on their website, “with proper disposal, attendees will have already started on the path to a cleaner, greener and ultimately prouder Philadelphia.”
How the Project Came About
When KPB reached out to their partners at the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability with a grant opportunity from their national organization, the City suggested they extend a hand to The Food Trust‘s Night Market.
Once the connection was made, KPB developed a proposal that was funded by Solo Cup Company to educate both vendors and attendees on the environmental impact of compostable and biodegradable products.
Union Packaging — a locally-owned paperboard manufacturer that services Burger King and Wendy’s — stepped in to donate food service packaging, including cartons and trays, to the 10 participating vendors.
As part of their research, KPB sent out a survey to Night Market vendors, with a follow-up to ascertain what products they were using. While many of the vendors are interested in using the green products moving forward, the availability of affordable products is an issue. According to KPB, the high shipping charge of online products is prohibitive, but Union Packaging is exploring local distribution options.
Phoebe Coles, Executive Director of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, is not letting this temporary setback stall the project. Overall, KPB plans to “work with the Office of Sustainability’s Waste Watchers to boost awareness of littering at public events and possibly bring a new element for event waste disposal,” she said.
Mt. Airy Night Market
When: Thursday, August 16 from 6pm to 10:30pm
Where: 6800-7200 Germantown Avenue
More info: www.nightmarketphilly.org