Abby Frazier

OASE intern at Imperfect Foods

  • Industry: Food and Beverage
  • Project Type: Packaging and product waste prevention
  • Location: Clackamas, OR
  • Degree/University: Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College


Project Summary

Abby Frazier interned with Imperfect Foods to develop an environmentally preferable purchasing policy (EPPP) to prevent waste in products and packaging.




Potential Impacts & Annual Reductions


Imperfect Foods has chosen to address the issue of wasted food because 35% of food grown in the US ends up in landfills, resulting in wasted food and resources. Imperfect Foods prevents land, water, and air pollution by eliminating wasted food that is thrown away due to imperfections. Abby assisted staff to develop their EPPP, ensuring all employees will have guidance on how to procure products that are recyclable, reusable, non-toxic, remanufactured, compostable, and made of post-consumer content. This EPPP encourages verifying and certifying materials with green claims while creating standards for partnering vendors to do the same. She also recommended several operational projects to prevent and reduce paper, glove, and rag usage.



One-Time Cost



Annual Savings


111,900 lbs

Solid Waste



Mectric Tons of CO2



Gallons of Water


Imperfect Foods was founded in 2015 and has six fulfillment locations and around 1,400 employees. Imperfect Foods sells its food online directly to consumers and is a BCorp-certified grocer on a mission to eliminate food waste and build a better food system. Their main objective is to save deformed, edible fruits and vegetables that are sent to landfills from grocery stores by selling raw and packaged foods. Imperfect Foods looks to eliminate or reduce all waste related to packaging (e.g., box, gel pack, insulated liner, egg carton liners, produce prep bags), warehouse supplies (e.g., trash bins, rags, mops, gloves, cleaning supplies), and office supplies (e.g., paper, toner, pens). Right now, Imperfect Foods produces 99,900 lbs of solid waste just from single-use paper towels, which costs the company approximately $13,500 annually.


Project Details

Frazier worked with Imperfect Foods employees to develop a comprehensive environmentally preferable purchasing policy that will guide departmental and vendor decision-making into the future. As a part of this work, Frazier identified what it takes to qualify as an environmentally preferable product or packaging:

  • Contain a certain percentage of recycled materials or re-manufactured materials or parts
  • Minimal packaging or packaging that is recyclable or reusable
  • Products that conserve energy, water, or other natural resources
  • Preventing pollution and minimizing emissions such as volatile organic compounds
  • Include products that contain fewer toxic substances or reduce the amount of toxic substances disposed of or consumed
  • Uses energy alternatives to fossil fuel

Overall, this EPPP encourages verifying and certifying materials with green claims while creating standards for partnering vendors to do the same.