Waste from food packaging is a tough sustainability nut to crack. The materials are often contaminated and therefore difficult to recycle, and return-logistics are messy and expensive. However, with determination and supply chain partnerships, it is possible. In this interview, Harv Singh of Whole Foods Market talks about how St. Benoit yogurt has successfully obtained a 90% return and re-use rate on their ceramic yogurt containers. St. Benoit is one the producers under the Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program. The program, started in 2006, allocates up to $10M to provide low interest loans to small local suppliers to help scale their businesses. By supporting local producers, Whole Foods is supporting the local economy, incubating new ideas, and sourcing delicious flavors for their customers. Talk about a win, win, win.
Connie Kwan is a SocialEntrepreneur based in Silicon Valley, CA. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School, and covers stories about triple bottom line businesses and projects. Follow her on Twitter @ConnieMKwan and check back for more video interviews from SOCAP 2011.