ReRoute Americas is an American-owned and operated company headquartered in Naples, Florida that is committed to helping the food and beverage industry meet the challenging needs of singleuse plastics. As a supply chain innovator and disruptor, ReRoute Americas offers an alternative to consumers by partnering with North, Central, and South American manufacturing companies to bring high-quality products at a more affordable rate with faster delivery times. Our products are made of fully recyclable plastics and compostable materials produced in humane conditions that lessen our dependence on Asia for our supply needs.
Above all, ReRoute Americas is committed to having a positive environmental and social impact so the earth and all those living on it will benefit. ReRoute Americas is committed to making a difference, honoring every production level so as not to disrupt the planet. As a result, ReRoute has recognized a significant need to replace single-use plastics with consumer-friendly alternatives. ReRoute offers wholly recyclable and compostable cutlery, straws, to-go containers, and many more products. A substantial component of ReRoute’s success has been the use of agave in manufacturing these products.
Plastic waste is a concerning issue because its chemical makeup makes it extremely difficult to decompose under normal conditions. As a result, thousands of tons of plastic end up in landfills across America daily. For example, Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day, and roughly half of the global annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product.
What are the differences (performance and cost) between paper-based, aluminum-based, or compostable packaging and single-use plastic-based packaging?
Traditional plastics have been a staple in the American consumer marketplace for decades. However, due to the low cost to produce and performance of single-use plastics, the transition to the more sustainable and comparable utility of plastic has been bumpy. For instance, the transition from plastic to paper straws has not been a successful rollout. However, even the most environmentally conscious consumer is unhappy with these paper products. Paper straws easily fall apart, affect the product’s taste, and sometimes produce an unpleasant odor.
At ReRoute, we know businesses will be slow to adopt alternatives to single use-plastics if the cost difference is too extreme. That is why ReRoute has worked tirelessly to make our products in line with the cost of single-use plastics. Our straws provide a sustainable solution to the downsides of paper and plastic straws.
Agave straws are made from the stalks that were no longer needed for tequila production. As a result of its upcycling process, ReRoute’s use of agave pulp that would have otherwise been unused. Additionally, the production process leads to dramatically lower emissions levels than paper and plastic alternatives. Furthermore, the agave sleeve is 100% biodegradable and designed for cold and hot meals up to 125 F. The sleeve will degrade in an aerobic or anaerobic environment within 1-5 years.
Additionally, there is no production of microplastics in its degradation process. The bio-based agave product line is USDA certified, and FDA approved. Agave straws also address the structural issues of paper alternatives because the agave fibers can more closely replicate the texture of plastic straws. As a result, Agave straws rarely experience the soggy texture that consumers associate with paper straws.
Does your company have experience using environmentally preferable packaging?
To address single-use containers, ReRoute makes use of bagasse, a sustainable material derived from plant-based sources. More specifically, bagasse is produced from sugarcane by-products. Like, our agave products, this process of upcycling combined with plastic reduction has exponential impacts on limiting our carbon footprint, which makes bagasse an eco-friendly choice for food packaging. In addition, bagasse food containers are microwave safe and won’t emit toxic fumes when heated. These food containers are also durable enough to take home leftovers.
ReRoute hopes to contribute to a healthier environment and more convenient dining experience. ReRoute remains committed to its goal and aims to continue launching eco-friendly products meeting the needs of both customers and the planet. The company is starting to grow rapidly as consumers notice these products’ quality and benefits. ReRoute fulfills hundreds of weekly deliveries, servicing clients across the restaurant and hospitality industries.
What is the best way for GSA to aid its contractors in moving to environmentally preferable packing and packaging, and how quickly should it move?
ReRoute believes the government should move to implement environmentally preferable packing and packaging as soon as possible. The longer the government delays, single-use plastics will continue to create dangerous environmental conditions. ReRoute believes the best way to aid contractors is to offer incentives for contractors with a sustainable solution. Incentives could include points in the RFP process. Another idea is to implement a “Buy Sustainable” clause similar to Buy American clauses GSA already requires.
How could compliance with reduced or eliminated plastic content be verified?
First, a contractor should be required to submit product documentation verifying compliance with the contract’s sustainable requirements. The government should then use an independent third party to verify the accuracy of the submission. Any contractor should be vetted and approved by the Government to verify the accuracy of the information and ensure that the products approved are actually good for the environment.
ReRoute is excited that the Biden Administration is taking a holistic approach to our environment. Eliminating single-use plastics is just one ring in the chain that will reverse the effects of climate change. At ReRoute, we know that the sustainability of our products is just one requirement of being a good steward. Therefore, ReRoute has examined its entire supply chain to ensure that we follow all best practices. ReRoute looks forward to working with the Biden Administration and other leaders to eliminate single-use plastics. Upcycled products such as agave are innovative solutions that perform just as well as plastic but are significantly better for the environment. We encourage the GSA to examine innovative production solutions such as agave when deciding how to eliminate the harmful use of single-use plastics.