The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) announced their alliance to help raise awareness of foodservice packaging recovery among restaurant operators and consumers. As part of this new effort, the groups are hosting a first-of-its-kind, industry-wide Foodservice Packaging Recovery Summit Nov. 7-8 in Austin, TX, that will bring stakeholders together to collaborate on industry-driven solutions that increase the recovery of valuable resources and landfill diversion.

At the inaugural summit, NRA and FPI members and invited guests will share expertise to gain a better understanding of how the industry is working to increase recovery of foodservice packaging; learn how packaging recovery fits into broader sustainability initiatives in the foodservice industry; and provide input on the work NRA and FPI are undertaking and help shape these future activities.

“This inaugural event is aimed at coming up with pragmatic solutions to complex challenges,” says Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the NRA. “We will address a range of topics, from limited infrastructure for collecting waste to unrealized end-use markets, and we need the perspectives of restaurant and supplier leaders to help move us forward.”

“We are excited to work with the National Restaurant Association to develop programs and tools to help operators achieve their foodservice packaging recovery goals,” says FPI President Lynn M. Dyer. “The summit will be a great opportunity to showcase how an industry can come together to drive market-based solutions to real-world challenges.”

The NRA and FPI are working together to encourage waste reduction and landfill diversion through recycling, composting, or other economically viable and sustainable means; advocate for sustainable community development and environmental protection through minimizing litter and properly recovering foodservice packaging; and support public policy initiatives that result in waste reduction and increased diversion of valuable materials from landfills.

DeFife further noted that the FPI partnership will help support the NRA’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program, an online resource designed to initiate and inspire environmentally friendly actions that also improve a company’s bottom line.