When it comes to product disposal, understanding what foodservice packaging products are recyclable can play a big role in satisfying your customers and lowering your environmental footprint. It is important to understand the disposal options of the materials you are purchasing so your business can meet your sustainability goals and exceed customer demands. For many, recycling begins with looking for a product’s recycling symbol and ends with putting the product in the recycling bin. But, just because a plastic or paper product can be recycled doesn’t mean it is widely accepted by your commercial hauler.
As the trend toward sustainability grows, and plastic straws become the target of increasing government regulations, businesses are looking for alternatives for the traditional plastic straw. There are several available alternatives, and selecting the best one for your foodservice program can be confusing. Some options are more sustainable while others are more durable, but all are more expensive than plastic straws.
Popular in most cafeterias, breakrooms, office kitchens, and other eateries, bins or dispensers are filled with disposable cutlery for guests to take and use with their meal or snack. Often not considered as a large part of your foodservice operation, disposable cutlery can be costing your business more than you think. When disposable cutlery is placed in a bin, it can encourage visitors to take more than they need, and even allow guests to touch multiple pieces, increasing the likelihood of cross-contamination.
Single-use plastic bags have been the target of state bans and legislation as their impact becomes more and more realized. The amount of plastic bags in the environment has become a huge problem because Americans alone use approximately 100 billion plastic bags a year, but only an estimated 1% get returned for recycling each year. Plastic takes years to decompose and even when they break down, they do not fully degrade. Plastic breaks down into microplastics or tiny pieces of plastics. Microplastics contaminate the environment and the food sources of humans and animals. More and more businesses in the affected states that provide patrons with single-use, lightweight plastic bags to take merchandise home, such as grocery stores, department stores, liquor stores, restaurants, convenience stores, and other retail stores will need to find alternatives to single-use plastic bags.
Recently, the media has brought attention to an increase in food package tampering, heightening concerns among food service providers and their customers. As a result, tamper-evident packaging is more important than ever. In June of 2019, a woman filmed herself removing a tub of ice cream from her local Walmart’s freezer, opening it, licking the top of the ice cream, and then closing the lid and putting the ice cream back on the shelf. The video was then shared to her instagram account. Soon after, the video went viral and news of this event caused a string of copycat offenses. To further grow consumer concerns, just a few days after the initial ice cream incident, news outlets shared more food tampering cases in which people were opening liquid product containers, gargling some of it, spitting it back into the container, and returning them to the shelf. As a result, many consumers questioned why the products were not packaged with greater protective features to reduce the risk of product tampering.
Whether it is in the office, bathroom, kitchen, classroom, or elsewhere, selecting the right can liner for your trash receptacles will cut your costs and save resources. Often little thought is given to the best trash can liner size, material, or seal. But, failure to have the right can liner will result in wasted money, torn bags, and spills. The wide variety of can liner types and sizes can make finding the right one challenging. Below we will walk you through the best way to select your can liner.
Plastic foam or polystyrene is one of the most widely used types of plastics due to its low cost, moldable qualities, and its capability to generate its lightweight counterpart EPS (Styrofoam). Its various desirable performance attributes such as heat tolerance and retention and it's low-cost, has made it the preferred takeout container for many restaurants and businesses. Until recently, that is. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the negative effects of foam on the environment and human health, and are demanding more sustainable options. As a result, state and local bans and regulations have been enacted to reduce the use of polystyrene products. Regulations, legislative pressures, customer demands and the trend towards sustainability are requiring businesses that use Styrofoam foodservice products to source more sustainable options.
Throughout the United States, state regulation on plastic bags is increasing. Some states are focusing on implementing effective recycling programs, while others are imposing bans or fees to discourage the use of plastic bags altogether. Recent bans and regulations may have you wondering if your business is going to be affected.
Choosing the right type of cutlery is important whether you are looking to make a positive impression on your guests or are trying to make a difference in the environment. Disposable cutlery is available in several different material types. Selecting the cutlery to best fit your business will depend on the food you are serving, environmental goals, and your budget.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We’ve all heard it and have become accustomed to seeing the infamous recycling symbol on our products. But, what does it mean when there is a number inside the three arrows? Not all plastics can be recycled in the same way or be recycled at all. Plastics have their own identification codes or numbers to tell us what type of plastic they are and where to recycle them.