By Michael DeFilippis
Director, Government Affairs
As summer winds down and we find ourselves nearing the last weeks of baseball season, we begin gearing up for football. There might be one thing many Americans take just as seriously as the actual game, and that’s the tailgate party.
In stadium parking lots across the country, the party that happens before the game can be just as exciting as the game itself and for some just as serious. Some people pack up a cooler of beverages and sandwiches and call it a day while others load up campers or trailers, set up a grills and try to outdo the person next to them.
Fun is had by all; however, the impending cleanup is always in the back of everyone’s mind, and the rush to clean up and get into the stadium on time turns into an Olympic sprint. Anyone who has ever tailgated knows the importance of planning ahead for convenience and clean up. Start by making an accurate assessment of how much food and beverage can be consumed in the time you have. Like all parties, the cleanup is the worst part not to mention the thought of putting a full bag of garbage in your vehicle if dumpsters aren’t available.
My suggestion, go with paper.
Paper products, including cups, napkins and plates are an easy solution for transport and clean up convenience, the environment and the economy. Many people are unaware that the paper and packaging industry is an important part of the U.S. economy. The industry has product sales of $130 billion a year, employs almost 375,000 people, provides almost 1.2 million in associated jobs and pays approximately $30 billion in annual compensation.
As for the environment, 90 percent of U.S. mills that produce tissue paper (paper towels and napkins) use some recovered paper to make new tissue products, and 18 of these mills use only recovered paper. Additionally, 65.8 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling not to mention compostable types of paper products are readily available.
So on game day, remember to print out your tickets and that BBQ recipe, and whether you are a super fan of the game, the grill, or both; think about using paper.