Fats, Oils and Greases
Fats, oils and greases (FOG) are the chief byproducts of prepared foods. FOG materials create a number of problems for the environment and hinder municipal recycling efforts. Food packaging products contaminated with FOG materials are made ineligible for recycling—specifically pulping. Instead of being properly recycled, contaminated products are sent to landfills, where they remain until the natural decomposition process takes hold.
Most national fast food chains are aware of FOG and its detrimental effects when it comes to plumbing—grease traps and interceptors are employed to remove FOG from plumbing before it reaches sewers and septic tanks. However a traditional approach to dealing with FOG only mitigates one aspect of FOG-related damages—it doesn’t even begin to resolve the cost of FOG-contaminated materials in landfills or those that disrupt the recycling process:
- Fast food packaging that is saturated with FOG is unable to be recycled. During the pulping process, wherein cardboard and other paper products are reduced to fibers and bleached, FOG materials can create insolubility within the pulp mixture, causing recycling efforts to fail.
- Food packaging saturated with FOG will be removed from recycling operations and sent directly to landfills, where natural decomposition will take over. The problem, however, is that natural decomposition is a lengthy process and can create further issues, such as the attraction of pestilence and the cost of disposal rather than the recouped value of recycling.
FOG is a national concern and a prime catalyst for waste within the food packaging industry. StitZii aims to address FOG directly, to mitigate its effect on the environment.