Manufacturer to recycle nearly 1,000 foam ice chests used to translocate more than 25,000 sea turtle eggs from oil-laden waters to Florida’s Atlantic Coast
PLANT CITY, FL – Dart Container Corporation, manufacturer of foodservice and packaging products, has joined forces with FedEx Custom Critical and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to recycle nearly 1,000 foam ice chests used to rescue and translocate approximately 25,000 endangered sea turtle eggs from northern Gulf of Mexico beaches to the Atlantic Coast of Florida. The recycling effort is the final step in a rescue that helped prevent the loss of an entire cohort of turtle hatchlings that would otherwise have perished in oil-tainted waters.
Beginning in July, the organizations worked with Unified Command to transport and translocate 271 loggerhead, 4 Kemp’s ridley, and 3 green sea turtle nests containing thousands of eggs to Florida’s Atlantic Coast, protecting the hatchlings from potential impacts of the oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico. A team of biologists loaded the eggs into specially-designed foam ice chests with lids and small holes drilled into the sides for air flow. Eggs were translocated free of cost by FedEx to the clean waters of the Atlantic via 18-wheeler air-ride suspension, temperature-controlled FedEx tractor trailers, otherwise known as “nests on wheels.” FedEx has reliably transported some of the world’s most precious cargo – from penguins and dolphins to pandas and sea otters.
“The oil spill’s effect on both the environment and marine life has been devastating,” said Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs at Dart. “We feel fortunate to have the recycling infrastructure necessary to lessen the impact.”
The Washington Post reported that the overall Gulf Coast cleanup effort has left behind more than 45,000 tons of garbage, and the Gulf turtle rescue project is determined to not be a part of this statistic. Without this recycling initiative, the used turtle ice chests would have been sent to area landfills.
Foam ice chests were chosen for the translocation effort because they have been successfully used in other sea turtle incubation efforts. Biologists on the translocation team were interested in minimizing waste and environmental impacts to the greatest extent possible, and asked the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help find a sustainable alternative use once the translocation was complete. Dart Container can recycle foam products into resin, which can be used to produce premium interior moulding, picture frames, and many other products.
“This summer has concluded with an amazing 25,000 mile journey of 1,000 foam ice chests carrying more than 25,000 sea turtle eggs,” said Virginia Albanese, President and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical. “We rest assured knowing that rather than filling landfills, foam coolers are gaining new purposes in homes and offices. FedEx seeks to connect the world sustainably and responsibly, and we appreciate Dart Container joining the Gulf turtle rescue project team to do just that.”
“Our Foundation works to bring corporate partners to the table to help achieve conservation solutions,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “For the sea turtle rescue program, it was essential to have the expertise of FedEx Custom Critical, and now Dart Container Corporation, for the best possible outcome.”
Dart is driving recycling efforts from its manufacturing facilities to workplaces, warehouse recycling centers and consumers’ homes in curbside recycling efforts across the country. Dart has been making foam cups since 1960. In addition to offering outstanding performance, foam products are recyclable and gen`erate less waste in their production than paper alternatives, are stable and safe in landfills, and burn cleanly in modern municipal energy-from-waste facilities.
About Dart Container Corporation
Established in 1937, Dart Container Corporation sets the industry standard of excellence by providing high quality, recyclable, affordable and safe foodservice products, exceptionally reliable service and responsible environmental practices. Dart is headquartered in Mason, Mich. For more information, visit www.dart.biz/recycle or call (800) 248-5960.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $35 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 280,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
About National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Established by Congress in 1984, NFWF is the nation’s leader in directing federal agency dollars to protect wildlife and natural resources while raising private capital to leverage those investments. In 25 years, NFWF has funded 3,700 organizations and leveraged $490 million in federal funds into $1.6 billion for conservation. The Foundation creates public-private partnerships that bring together diverse stakeholders—from industry to Congress and local leaders—to accomplish positive outcomes.