Michigan Companies Celebrate Earth Day, All Year Round

April 23, 2010

Kalamazoo, MI (April 23, 2010) – Leading Kalamazoo businesses made sure their carbon footprint was as small as possible this Earth Day. And they know that the twenty-second of April isn’t the only day of the year that they need to be concerned about being green.

Kalamazoo-based Fabri-Kal, a leading provider of plastic foodservice and custom thermoformed packaging solutions, is making huge environmental strides with their Greenware® line of products. This line of renewable cold drink cups, portion cups and lids are made entirely from plants – not petroleum. All Greenware® products are made from plant sources that are domestically-grown and annually renewable, plus they are 100 percent compostable in actively managed municipal or industrial facilities, where available.

Bell’s Brewery, a regional craft brewery with a growing nationwide reputation, uses Greenware® drink cups at their Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo. The brewery even takes their eco-responsibility one step further by having all of their Greenware® cups composted by Mulder’s Landscape Supplies Incorporated. Evan Meffert, Sustainability Coordinator at Bell’s Brewery, knows the importance of being environmentally responsible, “As a brewer of high quality beer, we are always focused on the integrity of our ingredients. Since brewers can’t make delicious beer without healthy water, hops, and barley, we are acutely aware of how impacts to our environment affect beer quality. When we can work with other businesses in our community to minimize these impacts, everyone wins.” In fact, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe has reduced their trash output 80 percent by volume, just by diverting their Greenware® cups from landfill.

To celebrate Earth Day, Fabri-Kal implemented a program to compost Greenware® cups used in their headquarters’ building.

The cups used in the building will be composted by Mulder’s Landscape Supplies Incorporated. John Kittredge, Vice President of Marketing at Fabri-Kal, is excited about the local business collaboration, “Fabri-Kal is proud to continue our dedication toward sustainable partnerships with the likes of Bell’s Brewery and Mulder’s. Critical in successfully sustaining our planet, we believe local efforts toward a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach are smart, simple and truly beneficial economically, socially and environmentally.”

Mulder’s Landscape Supplies Incorporated, a Kalamazoo-area business, has begun to compost the Greenware® cups from Bell’s Eccentric Cafe at their area facility. Mulder’s handles the composting of leaves and yard waste for the entire city of Kalamazoo and has the capability to compost the Greenware® cups alongside the rest of their natural waste. Art Mulder, President and Owner of Mulder Landscape Supplies Incorporated, is pleased with the joint venture, “Mulder’s is excited to be collaborating with Fabri-Kal and Bell’s Brewery, and working together has been a wonderful success. The Greenware® cups are amazing to work with because they are 100 percent compostable; we mix them in our leaf compost, and the compost in turn is sold and used in gardens throughout the Kalamazoo area.”

Like many areas of the country, Southwest Michigan does not have a municipal composting facility in the area. With that issue front of mind, Bell’s Brewery, Fabri-Kal, and Mulder’s Landscape Supplies Incorporated worked together to come up with this unique partnership to ensure that the Greenware® cups used in the Eccentric Café and at Fabri-Kal would be composted and returned to the Earth.

How does the composting work? Greenware® products require a specific temperature and level of humidity to compost correctly, which is why they are certified by the Biodegradable Plastics Institute (BPI), and meet international standards for composting. Anyone interested in learning more about composting or to find an industrial composting facility in their region can visit http://www.findacomposter.com/ for more information.

For Fabri-Kal, Bell’s Brewery and Mulder’s Landscape Supplies Incorporated, their role in eco-responsibility stretches far beyond the annual Earth Day celebration. These companies set a prime example for small ways that local businesses can make a big impact in their community, and for the planet.

# # # #

About Fabri-Kal
Fabri-Kal is a leading provider of plastic foodservice and custom thermoformed packaging solutions. As one of the largest thermoformers in North America, Fabri-Kal’s customer base includes thousands of foodservice operators and dozens of consumer product manufacturers. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Mich., and in continuous operation since 1950, Fabri-Kal employs more than 800 people in five manufacturing, printing and warehousing facilities throughout the United States. More information about Fabri-Kal may be found at the company’s website, www.f-k.com.

About Greenware®
Greenware® annually renewable cold drink cups, portion cups and lids are made entirely from plants – not petroleum. Made in the U.S.A. from IngeoTM biopolymer, the Greenware® product line is 100% compostable in actively managed municipal or industrial facilities, where available. With Greenware® products you don’t have to sacrifice performance and clarity for an ecofriendly product-Greenware® satisfies all of these needs.

About Bell’s Brewery
Bell’s Brewery is a regional craft brewery in Galesburg, Michigan distributing fine ales, porters and stouts in 18 states. Founded in 1983, the goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. Their Eccentric Café, located in downtown Kalamazoo, became the first Michigan brewery to serve beer by the glass to the public and offers a warm atmosphere with interesting food, art and live music. For more information visit www.bellsbeer.com.

About Mulder’s Landscape Supplies Incorporated
Celebrating 25 years of business in Kalamazoo, Mich., Mulder’s Landscape Supplies Incorporated is a one stop shop for landscape supplies from top soil, stone, timbers, retaining wall blocks, paving bricks and a complete nursery. Mulder’s provides quality products and outstanding service, shop where the professionals shop. For more information call (269) 345-6900.