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Vendors Introduced Wide Range of Green Products at NRA Show


CHICAGO—Yes, there was a Green Restaurant Products Pavilion and an Organic & Natural Pavilion but finding other green exhibitors among the more than 2,100 vendors at the National Restaurant Assn. Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show last weekend was more of a challenge. They most definitely were there but one had to look closely to find them. The good news is that those green vendors that were there had some exciting new products to talk about. Here is a list of some of them:

EATware International introduced its line of 100 percent biodegradable disposable tableware. Their compostable products are made from corn starches and fibers like bamboo, willow, grass, rice hash, and potato. EATware will decompose in a landfill in 90 days and in a compost pile in two days.

Takagi featured its line of tankless water heaters that provide up to a 50 percent savings in energy. Instead of keeping an entire tank of water hot while it is not being used, Takagi’s tankless models instantly heat water only when needed. They also last up to 20 years and do not produce the waste that tank heaters generate.

Ecoflame International Inc. offered its chafing fuel that is free of petroleum additives. Its fuel base is made from sugar cane ethanol and fuel containers are recyclable. Ecoflame’s products reduce carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate nitrous oxide emissions.

Command Packaging presented its Encore line of plastic bags. They are made with a minimum of 25 percent post-consumer recycled material and are 100 percent recyclable, minimizing the amount of plastic entering landfills. An additive can be added to the bags to allow them to degrade within 18 months.

3M introduced a system designed to help hoteliers and restaurateurs select environmentally preferable cleaning products. The 3M Environmentally Preferable Solutions Guide helps reduce confusion over the rules and guidelines to become an environmentally sustainable organization, as well as create awareness of the long-term benefits gained through the use of environmentally preferable products and services.

Numerous types of waste oil recycling systems were on display at the show. Mahoney Environmental featured its Direct-Connection Recycler. Waste oil is pumped directly from the fryer to a large holding tank. That oil can then be taken for reprocessing into other useable products.

Cascades Tissue Group, which exhibited as part of the Green Restaurant Products Pavilion, featured its North River line of paper products. They are made using chlorine-free processes and consist of 100 percent recycled fibers and up to 100 percent post-consumer fibers.

Dixie Consumer Products LLC introduced its SmartStock cutlery dispensers that help reduce cutlery waste, and a line of paper cups that include 99 percent post-consumer recycled paper in the insulating middle layer.

Great Lakes Specialty Products displayed a wide range of outdoor furniture and signage made from recycled plastic. Its Everlasting Lumber is made with 98 percent recycled High Density Polyethylene comprised of 95 percent post-consumer waste (mainly plastic milk jugs).

BioHitech America introduced its high-volume, organic waste decomposition system. The system consists of a machine, located in the kitchen, that breaks down food waste into a liquid that can be easily disposed of through the drain. The solution reduces trash-hauling needs and related costs.

Andrew Shakman, CEO, LeanPath, was on hand to explain his company’s ValuWaste system for foodservice operations. It incorporates scales and touch-screen kiosks to allow kitchen personnel to quickly weigh all pre-consumer food waste. Employees record the type of food discarded and the reason for disposal while software automatically captures the date, time and estimated value of the loss.

Meiko USA Inc. introduced its Waste Air Heat Recovery System for its warewashing systems. It reclaims waste heat generated by the machine as free energy, and uses it to preheat the incoming rinse water. This conserves energy and provides hot-water sanitization from a cold water supply. Meiko won a Kitchens Innovations 2007 Award from the NRA for its system.

GE ECM by Regal-Beloit unveiled its next generation of high-efficiency commercial refrigeration evaporator-fan motors, the ICE 59, which offers up to 65 percent greater efficiency than a shaded-pole motor, and up to 40 percent more efficiency than a PSC motor. It is designed for walk-in coolers and freezers.

Visual Graphic Systems Inc., which offers signage solutions for restaurants and other hospitality establishments, featured its new line of eco-friendly signage materials. The company says it takes a holistic approach to its signage—from design, materials and fabrication to delivery, installation, maintenance and final recycling.

Element Ozone featured its ozone purification system for food preparation. It includes motion sensor activation, eliminates all chemical usage, the use of hot water, and kills bacteria, yeast and protozoa on food-contact surfaces such as fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and more. It also oxidizes impurities in water and degrades organic pollutants such as pesticides and herbicides.

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.