Environmentally friendly products and methods of production have been gaining momentum worldwide. Environmental activists discourage the use of oil-based disposable products because these products pollute the environment from production to disposal. As one of the most waste-producing industries in the world, the food industry is in dire need of solutions for controlling waste. Biodegradable restaurant supplies made from corn, sugarcane, and biomass are thus gaining popularity among restaurants.
Biodegradable restaurant supplies have less of a negative impact on the environment because they require less energy to produce, reduce dependence on foreign oil, are made from renewable biomass, take less time to break down (and thus, won’t clog landfills), and are non-toxic. It’s hard to think why any restaurant owner or manager wouldn’t want to make the switch!
While these products are still more expensive than reusable and disposable products created by oil-based production, the long-term global benefits largely outweigh the costs. Biomass-production processes are also becoming cheaper as technology develops and demand increases.
Biodegradable cutlery and dishes can benefit restaurants in many ways, including providing an alternative to costly dishwashing. They may even be more hygienic. Dirty utensils create a polluted environment in the kitchen, which may be a health hazard to clients. Extra staff has to be employed to clean these items to prevent them from piling up. Frequent washing also does not guarantee total cleanliness of the utensils. Flies that perch on dirty utensils and spread diseases are less likely to find their way into restaurants that use one-time-use compostable cutlery.
Restaurants that are concerned about changing the traditional style of takeaway containers, utensils, or plates don’t have to worry because biodegradable restaurant supplies can still look and feel like plastic, despite being made entirely of paper. Thanks to incredible engineers working to improve these products, they are just as sturdy too!
Several variables determine how long it can take biodegradable restaurant supplies to break down, including heat and moisture. Typically, these products can break down in six or seven weeks. Compare that to the 500 years it takes plastic products to decompose! It’s easy to see the impact using compostable products can make.
In a world highly dependent on plastic, it’s important to continue to search for ways to reduce our plastic usage and its negative impact on the environment. Restaurant owners and managers who utilize biodegradable restaurant supplies should be celebrated for their efforts and contributions to a healthier planet. Consumers can support this effort by seeking out restaurants that are making conscientious changes to their processes and reducing waste.