Food Waste in Malls Skyrockets during Holiday Season; Power Knot Offers Sustainable Solutions

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Shopping is at an all-time high during the holiday season and considerable amounts of food waste from malls end up in landfills. Power Knot’s Iain Milnes analyzes sustainability efforts and best practices to keep waste down.

Iain Milnes, founder and president of Power Knot, addresses sustainability efforts malls can use in diverting food waste

Considering the amount of food being tossed away at retail center food courts around the world, it is clear that shopping centers can have a huge impact on the future of the planet.

According to the 2016 Deloitte Holiday Survey, retail sales in the United States are estimated to top $1 trillion during the 2016 holiday season.1 While the U.S. economy experiences a bump from the increase in holiday spending, shoppers generate considerable waste. On average, each day Americans produce 4.5 pounds of trash per person.2 At malls and other retail facilities, this includes packaging, shipping materials, shopping bags, and leftovers from the food court. As costs of discarding solid waste have increased significantly in recent years, retailers are looking at budget friendly ways to manage their garbage.2

Iain Milnes, founder and president of Power Knot, a leading manufacturer of eco-friendly and cost effective solutions for food waste disposal, notes that a number of retail managers – both in the U.S. and around the world – have realized the financial and CSR benefits of implementing successful waste reduction and management programs in their facilities. “We are proud to announce that one of Power Knot’s customers, the Mall Plaza Egaña in Santiago, Chile, was rewarded this year for its accomplishments in environmental sustainability,” Milnes asserts.

Mall Plaza Egaña uses Power Knot’s LFC® to reduce the size and quantity of food waste being sent to landfills. When waste food is sent to a landfill, it creates the third largest source of methane emissions into the environment. Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activity.3

The Mall Plaza Egaña was awarded by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) (based in New York) for innovation in waste management and. The ICSC recognized the Mall Plaza Egaña as the “first sustainable mall in Chile.” 4 With the success they have received from the first LFC, the mall plans to purchase more LFCs in the coming year.

Miles explained that while food waste is of paramount concern in the U.S., it is a global environmental issue. When waste food decomposes in a landfill, it decomposes in an anaerobic manner, creating methane. When that methane escapes to the atmosphere, it is 72 times worse for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2). “Considering the amount of food being tossed away at retail center food courts around the world, it is clear that shopping centers can have a huge impact on the future of the planet.”

The LFC is a fully enclosed automatic composting machine that disposes of most food matter within 24 hours. Because the LFC weighs the amount of waste food that is ingested, and reports it to the LFC Cloud, the mall can understand when and where waste is generated. With these statistics, they can start to control the amount of waste with the eventual goal of causing reductions.

The LFC is a practical alternative to the traditional disposal of waste food and eliminates the need to haul waste to a dumpster or trash site. Power Knot has many esteemed clients including Costco, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and the US Army.

About Power Knot’s LFC:

Power Knot’s LFC is sold globally to organizations that need to dispose of waste food. It saves organizations, the cost, mess, inconvenience, and carbon footprint of sending that organic material to a landfill. The LFC is available in seven sizes to suit a variety of users and can usually pay for itself in 24 months or less. The LFC can generate goodwill with the growing number of environmentally-conscious consumers and this clean technology will continue to help advance the global movement toward sustainability and zero waste.

About Power Knot:

Power Knot, with its headquarters in San Jose, Calif., provides innovative solutions for commercial, industrial, and military customers seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. The company is profitable, and designs, develops and manufactures its products in Silicon Valley.

Its LFCs (Liquid Food Composters) are high-quality, technologically-advanced bio-digesters capable of rapid digestion of most organic materials. LFCs create a safe and economical resolution for customers looking to address their carbon footprint by diverting waste food from landfills and by reducing emissions related to the transportation of waste.

LFCs represent long-term performance and sustainability for any organization. LFCs typically have a payback period of six to 24 months, based on reduced waste and costs of waste disposal. For more information, access http://www.powerknot.com.

1.    "2016 Deloitte Holiday Survey." DU Press. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

2.    “America's Marketplace Recycles: A Guide to Waste Reduction at Shopping Centers.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dec. 2004. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

3.    "Overview of Greenhouse Gases." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

4.    “ICSC Announces Victors of 2016 VIVA Awards, Recognizing the World’s Most Innovative Retail.” The Center of Shopping, ICSC, 23 May 2016.Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

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