For Immediate Release: March 31, 2008
Contact: Scot Quaranda, Dogwood Alliance, 828.242.3596 (cell)
No Free Refills!
Dogwood Alliance Launches National Campaign Targeting Fast Food Packaging; Group Releases Report and Calls on Top 11 Worst Offenders to Use Less, Recycle More and Stop Using Paper from Endangered Southern Forests; List Included Louisville’s Own Yum! Brands
Louisville, KY – This morning, community leaders and businesses joined Southern forest protection organization, Dogwood Alliance, in front of the signature KFC in Louisville, KY to release a report focused on the destructive legacy of fast food packaging and calling on the top offending restaurant chains, led by Louisville’s own Yum! Brands to dramatically overhaul its use of paper packaging or risk being the target of a national campaign. Yum! Brands is the parent company of five chains listed in the report, including KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, and A&W.
The groups are calling on Yum! and some of their biggest competitors, like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Bojangles, Jack in the Box, and Arby’s to stop using so much packaging, to increase the use of recycled paper used in its packaging, and to stop buying paper packaging that originates from endangered forests in the Southern US.
“Today we are here at the signature KFC store in Louisville, to call on Yum! to be leaders in Southern forest protection,” said Scot Quaranda, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance. “Southern forests, the jewel of the American landscape, are being destroyed to bring you fried chicken, burgers and fries, and super-sized convenience in a glut of wrappers, boxes and cups.”
In addition to announcing the campaign, Dogwood Alliance released a report, “The 2008 Fast Food Packaging Report,” and a new website called “No Free Refills!” that draws attention to the negative impacts of fast food packaging on Southern forests and communities and names the biggest offenders.
Some startling facts from the report include:
• The average American eats fast food more that 150 times per year.
• 300 pounds of packaging waste are generated each year for each person in the United States and 32% of the entire domestic waste stream consists of containers and pack¬aging.
• Diners on the run generate more than 1.8 mil¬lion tons of fast food packaging in the Unit¬ed States each year.
• Recent surveys show that fast-food packag¬ing makes up about 20 percent of all litter, with packaging for chip bags, drink containers, candy wrappers and other snacks compris¬ing another 20 percent.
“Our fast food lifestyle is burying us in an avalanche of excessive packaging and waste. Every year millions of pounds of food packaging waste litter our roadways, clog our landfills and spoil our quality of life,” continued Quaranda. “Simple choices and creative solutions can reduce the excess and destruction while still allowing us to enjoy the level of convenience we have come to expect.”
For more information, or to download the report, visit: www.nofreerefills.org
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Dogwood Alliance is the only organization in the Southern United States holding corporations accountable for the impact of their industrial forestry practices on our forests and communities. In addition to holding the office supply industry accountable to their environmental commitments, Dogwood Alliance is working to stop the destructive practices of the paper packaging sector. Visit dogwoodalliance.org for more information.