Brochure and Website Text for Introducing a New Product (Sample)

The text below is from a product launch brochure and website I produced for the University of Washington in collaboration with Coca-Cola. 

Introducing Ecotainer, the world’s first ever compostable paper cold beverage drink cup made from renewable resources.

Through the collaborative efforts of four partners—the University of Washington, Coca-Cola, Cedar Grove Composting, and International Paper—we now have the industry’s first compostable cold paper cup, available here on the UW’s Seattle campus.

A Sustainable Culture

The Pacific Northwest’s unique mixture of green business practices, community organizing and environmental awareness places the University of Washington (UW) at the epicenter of a sustainable regional culture.

An Active Campus Community

The UW is one of the signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, agreeing to adopt policies that minimize global warming emissions and achieve carbon neutrality. 

A Visionary Collaboration

It all started when Housing and Food Services became aware of the increasing amount of food and beverage packaging heading to landfills. As a result, HFS committed to divert all dining waste—food as well as packaging—away from landfills to recycling and compost collection. Working with our partners, we were able to create an almost entirely compostable product line.

The only thing we couldn’t compost was the Coca-Cola® fountain drink cup—it was coated with petrochemical-based polyethylene, making composting impossible. So we asked Coca-Cola® to produce a compostable cup. They agreed to create a new cup and approached International Paper, their supplier, and requested one that would meet our needs.

Working closely with Cedar Grove Composting, International Paper delivered. After nearly two years of testing and market research, we are launching the world’s first compostable cold beverage cup. With it, 300,000 fewer cups will go to landfill!

A Step in the Right Direction

Housing and Food Services is just one of many on-campus departments working in support of the University’s sustainability goals. We don’t have all the answers, but we do have a supportive community and partners with the expertise and know-how to help us eventually achieve our goal of zero waste.

Community Leadership

Over time, we have developed our own sustainability program based on research and product testing, replacing waste with compostable products. Because we believe in our program and the University’s mission, we freely share our knowledge with Seattle businesses and community organizations who want to start their own composting programs or use environmentally-friendly food packaging and containers. We believe that transparency is important for both our own accountability and for helping the community at large.

A Word of Thanks to Our Partners

None of this would have been possible without the contributions of our partners. We thank the following companies for their ongoing support:

Coca-Cola® North America, for committing to create a compostable cold cup for fountain drinks;

International Paper, for conducting nearly two years of research and testing to make the cup a reality;

and Cedar Grove Composting, for providing early guidance and continued collaboration, culminating in the introduction and acceptance of the  new Coca-Cola® cup.

Coca-Cola’s compostable fountain cup is a key contribution to Housing and Food Service’s growing line of compostable products, and an important next step towards the University of Washington’s goal of zero waste.

Through the collaborative efforts of four organizations—the University of Washington, Coca-Cola, Cedar Grove Composting and International Paper—we now have the world’s first compostable cold beverage cup, available here on the UW’s Seattle campus.

 Website Text:

 Diverting Waste from the Landfill

Recently, Housing and Food Services became aware of the increasing amount of food and beverage packaging heading to landfills. As a result, HFS committed to divert all dining waste—food as well as packaging—away from landfills to recycling and compost collection. This was consistent with the University of Washington’s own sustainability goals.

Currently, HFS runs 21 food service operations and serves 29,000 customers a day. In 2006, our on-campus dining operations used over three million polystyrene knives, forks and spoons, destined for regional landfills along with food waste, cups and take-out containers. We could no longer ignore the amount of waste we were creating.

In January 2007, we implemented composting and recycling programs in our residential and dining facilities. Working with our partners, we were able to create a completely compostable product line. The only thing we couldn’t compost was Coca-Cola’s cup for fountain beverages—the cup’s interior was coated with petrochemical-based polyethylene, making composting impossible.

So in April 2007, we asked Coca-Cola to produce a polyethylene-free compostable cup. They agreed to create a new cup and approached International Paper, their cup supplier, and requested one that would meet our needs.

Working closely with Cedar Grove Composting, International Paper delivered. After nearly two years of testing and market research, we are launching the world’s first fully-compostable cold beverage cup. With it, 300,000 fewer cups will go to landfill.

Supporting the University of Washington’s Vision of a Greener Future

The Pacific Northwest’s unique mixture of green business practices, community organizing and environmental awareness places the UW at the epicenter of a thriving sustainable culture.

This culture of sustainability is strong at the University of Washington, where employees as well as students have sought solutions for reducing the waste stream—this support and participation helps the University do its part for the environment.

The UW is one of the signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, agreeing to adopt policies that minimize global warming emissions and achieve carbon neutrality. This means promoting sustainability in the curriculum and encouraging other universities and colleges to join in the effort to address climate change.

In Seattle, we are fortunate to have our own local composting facility, Cedar Grove Composting. Cedar Grove has helped create an impetus for participation in composting programs at the University and throughout the Seattle area, increasing the community’s awareness of the need for all of us to reduce our impact on the environment.

Housing and Food Services is just one of many on-campus departments working in support of the University’s sustainability goals. We don’t have all the answers, but we do have a supportive community and partners with the expertise and know-how to help us eventually achieve our goal of zero waste.

Community Leadership

Over time, we have developed our own sustainability program based on research and product testing, replacing waste with compostable products. Because we believe in our program and the University’s mission, we freely share our knowledge with Seattle businesses and community organizations who want to start their own composting programs or use environmentally-friendly food packaging and containers. We believe that transparency is important for both our own accountability and for helping the community at large.

A Word of Thanks to Our Partners

None of this would have been possible without the contributions of our partners. We thank the following companies for their ongoing support:

Coca-Cola North America, for committing to create a compostable cold cup for fountain drinks.

International Paper, for nearly two years of research and testing to make the cup a reality.

And Cedar Grove Composting, for setting a high standard for the cup and delivering the best material composting possible.

FAQ

Q What makes ecotainer™ packaging different from standard cups and containers?

A With standard paper cups and containers, the paperboard is coated with a petrochemical-based plastic (polyethylene) to make it liquid resistant. Ecotainer™ products are also made from plastic-coated paperboard, but the plastic used in this cup is made from plants. Both the fiber and coating used to make the cup come from fully renewable materials.

Q Is this new “bio plastic” made from plants safe?

A Yes. The process used to make this material starts with plant sugars and ends with a non-toxic plastic similar to other materials used to package food. It is FDA approved, and although this application (coating paperboard) is relatively new, this material is used extensively for packaging produce and other food items.

Q Aren’t all paper cups and containers biodegradable?

A No. Although paper is generally biodegradable, the traditional coatings for making these products usually prevent them from meeting compostability requirements. This new material is certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute to conform to ASTM standards for municipal composting.

Q Since they’re biodegradable, can ecotainer™ cups be disposed of anywhere?

A No. These products are not intended to be immediately degradable in a non-compost environment. Ideally, these products are either composted or recycled. We encourage all of our ecotainer™ customers to take advantage of more environmentally-friendly disposal options.

Q This is compostable packaging, but what happens if it ends up in a landfill? Have we really accomplished anything?

A Yes, the upstream benefits of fully renewable materials with improved sustainable characteristics are real regardless of where they end up. These benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced dependence on petrochemical materials and enabling other material recovery options. However, for optimal results, these cups should be composted.

Q What happens to the cups once they’ve been sent to be composted?

A The cups are sent to the Cedar Grove Composting Site in Everett along with the other compostable products, where they enter a 60-day composting process in which they  are added to grass clippings for optimal composting, grinded together, and left to compost for 45 days before being ‘cooked’ at 160 degrees for curing. After composting for a few more days, the material is resold as commercial compost to be used in gardens and lawns throughout the Pacific Northwest.

 Q  Will this cup dissolve when it’s filled with liquid?

No, but this is one of the most popular misconceptions associated with this product. The coating is not water soluble and will not dissolve in use with hot or cold beverages. On the other hand, it can be consumed by microbes over  time in a municipal compost environment.

Q What kind of impact can I have as a single consumer?

A Combined, individual consumers in the United States alone use more than 100 billion to-go cups every year. Together, single consumers can impact the direction taken by retailers, brand owners, and ultimately by packaging suppliers like International Paper.

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