Everyone is becoming more eco-friendly these days, especially in terms of eating out and take home food containers. With the Styrofoam clamshells that were the marvel of the 1950’s plastics boom being outlawed by cities across the country we’re finally waking up to the fact that maybe they weren't as great as we once thought - and we need to make a conscious choice to change.
Luckily, many more eco-friendly options are becoming readily available today in the food service industry that are good for business – and good for the planet.
One of the leading edge materials being used today in place of Styrofoam for disposable tableware is bagasse, which is a byproduct of the sugarcane refining process. In layman’s terms, bagasse is what is left over after the sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract the juices. Since bagasse comes from the earth it is easily converted by nature into simple, stable compounds that are absorbed back into the ecosystem.
One of the many attractive qualities of bagasse is that it is both eco-friendly and compostable. This means that you don’t have to worry that your great-great-great grandchildren will be dealing with your take home food container from Friday night’s dinner!
When something is "compostable", it means that it is made of organic matter that will break down in a compost system or land fill.
Bagasse compostable food containers are quickly being recognized as a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional Styrofoam clamshells and plastic plates. Bagasse disposable tableware including plates and food containers can be lined with a corn-starch based film called PLA (polylactic acid). PLA lining is a clear, thin sheet that acts as a complete moisture and grease barrier, protecting the container and allowing it to stand up against any and all types of food.
Here are some green facts regarding disposable tableware:
- Americans use and discard over 2.5 billion Styrofoam cups each year.
- Styrofoam does not break down easily and some studies indicate that it may release chemicals when it gets wet, contaminating our precious water sources. It takes up much more space than paper in our landfills.
- While recycling of Styrofoam is possible, it is extremely expensive and many recycling plants do not accept it. Styrofoam cannot be recycled to make new Styrofoam products. It can only be used to make other products such as packing filler.
- Less water and energy is required to produce Bagasse than Styrofoam, paper, and recycled paper.
- Less CO2 is emitted by creating Bagasse over Styrofoam and paper.
- Trees can take up to 30 years to mature, while sugarcane only takes one year making it a very renewable resource.
Thinking green and moving towards the use of more sustainable resources is vital. Going green when you eat out or order take home food is now easier than ever.
For your picnics and social events it’s now possible to buy organic, compostable, and eco-friendly versions of all types of tableware products including disposable plates, cups, bowls and trays as well as take out containers – made from the renewable resource bagasse.
The time has never been better to go green – especially when you eat! It’s your earth, and it’s worth it!