Thomas Oris


Franklin, WI, United States





Job Title

Director of Purchasing


Baptista's Bakery


Thomas Oris has over 17 years of procurement experience in the area of consumer packaging. In this area, Mr. Oris has worked with several forms of packaging, including resin and fiber based packaging. He has over ten years of experience in new product development, high level negotiations with an emphasis in total value.

Tom has experience on consumer packaging in the areas of Food, Personal Care, Lawn & Garden products and Quick Serve Restaurant packaging. He possesses a passion for both consumer packaging as well as the environment and continuously drives for improvements in sustainability in packaging. He was an invited speaker at the March 2010 Sustainability in Packaging Conference in Orlando as well as the October 2010 Paperboard Packaging Council Conference in Memphis.

Mr. Oris was raised in Oceanside, NY and holds a MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. He currently resides in Burr Ridge, IL and served on the Burr Ridge Environmental Quality Commission and is active in community service. He is married to Inga and has two daughters, Kirsten and Caroline.

Recent Blog Entries

  • Recycle Awareness vs Recycle Capabilities vs Recycle Economics

    Our society is lazy when it comes to the environment. I used to look back at my childhood and laugh, as I took my Flintstones lunch box and thermos to school. Today, I see kids take paper or plastic bags with lunch, that includes a small pouch of juice. The bag goes in the garbage, as does the empty pouch. Heck.... my lunchbox and thermos came home with me every day. Little did I realize then that I was being environmentally responsible (compared to today's society).

    Posted November 14, 2011
  • Green Washing is alive and well, isn't it?!

    I just walked back from the restroom, where I looked at myself in the mirror. My thoughts, which I am putting here, make me sound like a grumpy, old man filled with anger toward the world. But I don't have much gray, I don't look like I'm in my 80's, and when I checked my drivers license, it said I am 45. Seems to me the green washing is getting worse and worse. More so, I see this website, a site that I love because it's about subject matter I love and feel passionate about, being used as a green washing tool and I get rather angry!

    Posted May 25, 2011
  • Sustainable Taboo? I am not a fan of PLA!

    I am going to say it. Sorry to offend some people and sorry others may just disagree with me, but I am going to say it anyway. I DO NOT LIKE PLA!

    Posted November 17, 2010
  • Sustainability by any other name would be just as Sustainable

    One of the most interesting aspects of sustainable packaging has been talking, listening and reading what everyone is saying about it. Like a new car, there is a make and model of sustainability for everyone. Some believe in PLA as the right direction, while others focus on light weighting, while yet others look at recycle content (pre and post consumer) and still others look at recyclability and/or compostability. Of course, many look for more than one of these benefits, so the number of options is mind boggling.

    Posted May 29, 2010
  • The Holiday (Sustainable) Season!

    Well, less than three days until the family tears into presents! I have to admit, their is a level of "pain" involved with the holidays. Think about it, we buy all these wrapping papers, we wrap up all these gifts, then in a matter of seconds, the paper is flying across the room. It's then picked up and thrown in the garbage. Now... I introduce you to.... THE SUSTAINABLE HOLIDAY!!!!

    Posted December 22, 2009
  • Pizza, Friends and Sustainability!

    Last Friday I flew from Chicago back to my "hometown" on Long Island. No matter where I go, no matter what my mood, I always have creeping thoughts of sustainability (sad but true).

    Posted 2 days ago
  • Receipts? Receipts! RECEIPTS?!

    The other day, I swung by my neighborhood drug store and purchased a pack of gum. Nothing expensive, just your normal five stick pack of gum. It cost less than a dollar.

    Posted July 19, 2009
  • Wait Kids.... Let me go over the rules of recycling in our house!

    I put everything in the recycle bins... .well almost anything. My wife and I sort all of our packaging, most of our waste in order to be the "GOOD CITIZENS" helping our environment.

    Posted May 11, 2009
  • Sustainability and the Obama Administration

    I'm sitting at my kitchen table trying to "quickly" understand the framework of President Obama's budget plan. It’s not happening; I’m going to need more time. I'm not writing to support or tear down President Obama’s budget; I'm selfishly trying to figure out how to determine the role packaging and the packaging industry plays, if any, in his plans.

    Posted February 26, 2009
  • The Sustainable Chicken or the Sustainable Egg?

    The supply chain plays a major role in determining the true value of sustainable packaging. While I am rather enthusiastic (an understatement to those that know me) about the use of post consumer materials, other factors need to be considered. For example, if a company used a material made with 100% post consumer material, but they have to ship the material 2,000 miles, is that truly better for the environment than a 50% post consumer material shipped 1,000 miles, or are we better off with virgin material that is produced locally?

    Posted February 3, 2009

Recent Discussions

  • PLA! No, No, No!

    I am going to say it. Sorry to offend some people and sorry others may just disagree with me, but I am going to say it anyway. I DO NOT LIKE PLA!!!!!

    Posted December 1, 2010
  • If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    Let’s take the philosophical question and apply it to the world of Sustainability. As this topic continues to develop and evolve, great new concepts have come about; some are in development while some are now reality. My questions: 1. Do consumers really understand "compostable"? Recycling? 2. How many households have full access to municipal composting facilities compared to households with access to recycling? 3. How many households practice home composting? Recycle? The Green Guides state:

    Posted August 30, 2010


  • To Tom Clark; In answer to

    To Tom Clark; In answer to your question; "When is the tipping point in terms of the number of recyclers that can handle a wider range of items (20%, 50%, 80%), and what is the incentive for them and the other parts of the supply chain to make that happen?" Let me try to answer. In one example in the Green Guides related to recycle claims, their is this reference: "Unless recycling facilities for this container are available to a substantial majority of consumers or communities, the claim should be qualified to disclose the limited availability of recycling programs for the container." From a couple of discussions I have had with employees of the FTC, the general rule of thumb (from what I have been told) is that at least 60% of the population should be served by a MRF that can recover that specific material in order to make a recycle claim.

  • Clarification Please

    What is the definition of "biodegradable"? I see this word, and red flags wave, sirens go off in my head.

  • Allison, sustainability in

    Allison, sustainability in packaging has taken on so many forms, so many directions, I honestly don't think that any organization is blatantly lying about the sustainable benefits. Additionally, I can't dispute their claims that "packaging is estimated to have eliminated the equivalent of 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or 3 million gallons of gasoline used to produce PET plastic bottles". I would ask the question related to the data, is this net data or gross data? Example, are their additional transportation costs associated with moving materials that one would normally not have, and if so, is that data accounted for? Also additional energy costs to incorporate these materials? Outside of that, I just find the principle of diverting food supply, and this INCLUDES ETHANOL, to alternative uses.

  • While I wonder how far

    While I wonder how far lightweighting can go, I have to think their is room. This may be accomplished by ridges, resin blends? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't rule out lightweighting. Second and a broader discussion topics could be: 1. Stronger laws related to recycling 2. Bottle deposit laws. Where they have been re-introduced their has been a marked increase in recovery/recycling 3. The reduction or elimination of single serve bottled water. I may sound old here, but as a child and teenager, I never saw water bottles marketed and sold such as they are now. Some local and state municipalities are or are considering elimination of single serve water bottles. I just wonder when we are going to truly put the long term concern of the environment into a priority. Related to any strides made by Coke in the HDPE, I truly don't know the extent of improvements they have made in the area of bioresin recycling. I do applaud Coke for their efforts in recycling and their PET recovery facility. I just have a fundamental problem with diverting food for packaging!

  • How will this impact the recycle stream????

    One thing that really, REALLY needs to be reviewed and considered is how this packaging may impact the recycle stream. IF this package has the potential to damage (contaminating) the recycle stream, then I view this as the wrong approach.

  • Recyclability of Bioplastics

    In regards to the feedback I received from "Anonymous", first thank you for taking the time to engage. You ask about information I have to refute the claim that the Odwalla bottle is 100% recyclable. Their has been plenty of debate on this, whether a bioresin can be recycled with traditional resins. Here are a couple of sources I have:

    • "Also, bioplastics are NOT recyclable with conventional plastics. If these products end up in the recycling stream, they contaminate and degrade recyclable materials. This is one reason clear labeling of these new products is essential."
    • Source:
    • "Trials by leading machine sorting system manufacturers have shown that bio-plastics can be separated from other plastics into their own recycling stream. However, investment is needed at some sorting facilities to improve this infra-structure for separating bio-plastics. Because bio-plastics still only account for a fraction of overall plastics used this has not been a priority for waste management bodies. However, to build a sustainable future with compostable plastics this investment is needed." Source:
    • What the second tells me, and I am reading between the lines, is that bioplastic will contaminate traditional resin recycling and require sorting to a different recycle stream. My overall concern, outside of recyclability, is that taking precious acres and diverting from food supply to packaging supply is not socially responsible. 11% of the land on this planet is farmland for food supply of over SIX billion people! This year in the United States, 40% of the corn crop is going toward Ethanol! It's no surprise that just this week, corn reached a 30 month high and is closing in on the all-time high! The Odwalla package uses sugar based ethanol, and sugar costs are near 30 year highs! Again, while sugar and corn based ethanols may be "greener" than oil, the repercutions related to global food supply cannot be understated! And it isn't just sugar and corn that are impacted, Wheat and Soybeans are dramatically impacted as well. Wheat is increased by almost 100% in the past year! Soybeans are rather high as well! Corn, Wheat and Oil have dramatic impacts on most food items! As a result of high food prices, more people on this Earth will starve simply because they cannot afford to eat. So while bioplastics seem like a "responsible" alternative to traditional resins, I don't believe they are. The questions related to recyclability, the impact of food costs in my opinion more than offset any benefit. Traditional resins that can be recycled (very important), coupled with lightweighting is a much more responsible approach.

    • Recycling

      Have we had anything truly exciting?? Using plants for packaging is just wrong in my opinion, not a good direction. Water bottles, while completely recyclable (PET), are mostly deposited in landfills. Lightweighting, a good step, but to me more common sense based than anything. So what is THE new thing???? How about dramatic improvements in recycling in general. The US recycles less than 10% of waste, while some nations reach 50%. The US has become more and more of a disposable nation, thus increasing the amount of waste generated, and we lag way behind in reducing volumes into landfills. Reduce, recycle, reuse..... Real meaningful volumes... that is the breakthrough!

    • Is their a larger contributor

      Is their a larger contributor of waste in the world than McDonalds? Roughly 30,000 stores globally!! With all respect to Mr. Jeff Skinner, CEO of McDonald's, I find his comments meaningless and baseless! Let me share some reasons why. 1. When McDonald's went from wraps to clamshells for their sandwiches, they dramatically INCREASED the amount of packaging used and entered into the waste stream. 2. When a customer dines at the restaurant, the same amount of packaging is used compared to drive thru. Meanwhile, some competitors use plastic, reusable baskets instead of clamshells and cartons for sandwiches and fries. Paper plates can be used as well. 3. They use SBS for their fry cartons, chicken sandwiches and nuggets. SBS contains no recycled fiber. 4. When McDonald's relaunched their coffee brand, they stayed with EPS cups. I could go on, but my point is made. Actions speak louder than words. An organization such as McDonald's should be a leader, but they are just a follower at best in this arena.

    • Sometimes, I feel it would be

      Sometimes, I feel it would be easier to just copy and paste my comments on plant based packaging. It is a horrific idea! HORRIBLE! Coke (and I love the product) using 30% sugar based ethanol is not wise and not socially responsible. Sugar prices have been at or near 30 year highs, the forecast calls for continued price pressure well into next year, and the additional of sugar based ethanol for packaging will only increase demand, reduce supply and cause increased costs for Sugar. Thus, corn based ethanol will be in high demand. Corn costs will remain rather high, and will pull commodities such as soybean and wheat higher as well. Increased global prices for food..... not good! This actually means less people eat. You may think this is overstating things, but it really is not. Diverting food to be used for plant based packaging is not socially responsible!

    • Which is better?

      Dan, the term "biodegradable" for the most part is a farce. Additionally, I HATE plant based packaging (please refer to my blog for more, as their is no need to beat a dead horse). I personally prefer Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. You can use percentages of post consumer resin with HDPE, the resin is fully recyclable (be careful about the addition of colorant). Getting consumers to recycle is a whole other story, but my strong opinion is to focus on weight reduction, post consumer and/or post industrial resins and recyclability.

* indicates an article that was submitted directly to this Web site by the supplier, and was not handled by the Greener Package editorial staff.

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