A single bin for each restaurant
Our goal as an organization is to contribute to a cleaner planet.
We realize that the maximum impact will come through alternatives for food transportation, packaging and services and therefore we are building our business to innovate, create and deliver these materials.
We are proud to have introduced and promoted our line of disposable products made from sugar cane residue. Since these products are molded from natural fibers and not much else, they are easy to degrade and compost.
There are amazing organizations, especially in the quick service segments, that have embraced ours and similar products with the same enthusiasm. We have been pushed, prodded and encouraged to continue to evolve and deliver better solutions and our teams are working tirelessly to achieve this goal.
Our mission will only be complete when all the restaurants only have one bin and everything is composted and used to regenerate the soil.
Our nation is working on proactive measures to eliminate single-use plastics this year and I believe the proof of success can be determined by ensuring that all waste is organic and the country demands the same.
We’re happy that many restaurants are embracing compostable products, but there’s a challenge when looking at their bins. We are seeing huge contamination. There are usually poly-lined drink cups, small dip containers, and sometimes containers. We realize looking at the bin that our mission is not finished because this waste would end up in a common landfill and a lot of potential would be lost because the organic matter would become methane instead of fertilizer.
Every restaurant, dark kitchen or roadside eatery can adopt different simple practices for huge contribution and impact. I share some suggestions that may help:
1) Only buy in bulk in reusable/reusable packaging: Restaurants have to buy inputs. These can be food raw materials, kitchen supplies and pre-prepared food products. All of these can be moved by insisting that the supplier provide bulk packaging that can be returned to them for reuse. There are products like oil and condiments that can easily be found in bulk packaging that can be reused.
2) All frozen products must be packaged differently: Many packagings are used nowadays for the transport of prepared products which are frozen and transported in a cold chain. Today there are materials derived from bioplastics that can be used or it is even better and more hygienic if we switch to reusable packaging made of glass or rigid plastic.
3) All catering material must be degradable or reusable: This is where we come in! We will ensure that all materials used by a refreshment point are compostable. Today our product range ensures that most serving utensils and delivery products are beautiful, sturdy and safe and we ensure that any special requirements of a restaurant are organized and met.
4) We must ensure a single disposal system for the customer as well as for the staff: All trash should go into one bin once it is all compostable. This would include food waste, packaging and serving items. We must ensure that the waste is free of any contaminants, as a single non-degradable substance can damage organic materials.
5) We need to invest in end-of-use to make sure nothing ends up in a landfill: There are wonderful companies like Excel Industries that produce small and easy to use composters. These machines essentially break materials down into small, uniformly sized pieces that are easily composted. They also have a service in many cities where they can pick up wet waste. Every outlet needs to invest in one and ensure we have a clear end-use for all materials.
My guru William McDonough speaks of a “regenerative biosphere” where we must learn from nature to ensure that each material benefits another when it is used up. We can all take small steps towards the same thing.
I encourage all grocery stores to take positive action to contribute to a cleaner planet and to ensure that our actions have an impact for times to come.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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