Organizers of the Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden at the Meijer LPGA Classic plan to divert more than 95 percent of the event’s waste to recycling or compost. The goal is to reduce the environmental footprint of the event to zero-waste, ultimately.
“The Grand Taste experience is like no other on any tour—you get to watch incredible golf while enjoying the best food and drink West Michigan has to offer,” said Cathy Cooper, executive director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “But we want to be mindful of waste. This new sustainability program will help us not only create an amazing experience but also a sustainable and zero-waste event that will ultimately give back to our neighbors through Simply Give.”
Food waste from Grand Taste and the Grand Taste Garden will be composted, including what the vendors generate during food preparation. Bottles, cans, plastics and metals collected will be recycled. Plates and bowls used for serving food will be made from unbleached plant fiber, containing no wax or plastic lining, which will compost in two to four months in a commercial facility. All forks and spoons will be made from certified compostable bioplastics with a cellulose wrapper and will compost in three to six months in a commercial facility.
Banks of waste bins stationed throughout Grand Taste and the Grand Taste Garden will be manned by an estimated 50 volunteers who will direct attendees on where to properly place their recyclable, compostable and trash items.
The only trash from the food-tasting event held during tournament week will be items like potato chip bags and candy wrappers, said Meijer Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability Erik Petrovskis.
“Our goal is to divert more than 95 percent of the waste generated from the Grand Taste events because it’s important to show our environmental stewardship to the community,” he said. “The main focus behind the tournament is to support the Meijer Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest, and so we want to do our part by reducing food waste.”
As in previous years, all remaining food from the Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden will be donated to local food pantries.
Proceeds from the Meijer LPGA Classic and accompanying events benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The 2018 tournament alone raised $1.1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the five tournaments have generated more than $4.2 million for the Meijer Simply Give program.