Danone Minster plant seeks zero waste


By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News



MINSTER – According to representatives at the Danone plant in Minster, their company’s Zero Waste to Landfill program is keeping thousands of pounds of waste from landfills.

Elizabeth Masteller, Environment Health & Safety manager at Danone, North America’s Minster, Ohio plant, “Currently the Minster site is keeping approximately 180,000 tons of waste out of the landfills.” She added “Some of the materials that we recycle would include sludge, by-products of food making, food waste, packaging waste, hazardous, and other non-hazardous waste.”

She said the goal of Zero Waste to Landfill “is to look for new and innovated ways of reducing our overall waste by reducing the amount of waste generated and discovering new opportunities to recycle the waste that is generated.”

The goal is being achieved by working with third-party partners like Veolia ESS and with local organizations like ShurGreen Farms of Ansonia. Masteller said that as a result, the company is creating solutions that divert waste from landfill and instead be reused, recycled, or composted.

Said Masteller, “In 2021 alone, we sent more than 2,500 tons of waste to ShurGreen Farms to be transformed into renewable energy, crop nutrition, and animal feed, while re-purposing product packaging.”

According to Sherri Livengood, director of Environmental Affairs at Danone North America, “The Zero Waste to Landfill goal connects to our company’s existing ‘One Planet-One Health’ frame of action, which includes our commitment to reducing food loss and waste in our U.S. operations by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Livengood went on the say that in 2020, only 4.8% of Danone North America’s waste was sent to landfills across its company facilities. When Zero Waste to Landfill status is fully achieved by 2025, just 1% or less will be sent to landfills.

She said “Danone North America will continue to work with all company facilities to implement processes that promote a circular economy and eradicate waste. The company is committed to using its business as a force for good and spearheading necessary education around more sustainable practices among employees and consumers, with the ultimate goal of re-imagining waste.”

Livingood said Zero Waste to Landfill is achieved when at least 99% of waste generated throughout the manufacturing process is diverted from landfills. As a result, waste produced throughout food and beverage production, including handling, storage, processing, packaging, and distribution, is reused, upcycled, recycled, composted, or sent for energy recovery.

Masteller added, “When our plant achieved Zero Waste to Landfill in 2020, the full force of our facility and local community came together to support a culture of waste reduction and redistribution.”

According to a recent press release, Danone North America is a purpose-driven company and an industry leader in the food and beverage category. As a Certified B Corporation®, Danone North America is committed to the creation of both economic and social value, while nurturing natural ecosystems through sustainable agriculture.

Their brands includes: Activia, DanActive, Danimals, Dannon, Evian, Happy Family Organics, Honest to Goodness, Horizon Organic, International Delight, Light + Fit, Oikos, Silk, So Delicious Dairy Free, STōK, Two Good, Wallaby Organic and YoCrunch.

With more than 6,000 employees and 16 production locations across the U.S. and Canada, Danone North America says its mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.