This is part of the Don't Bus Throw-Away Tableware page. A major issue is the commercial social pressure to bus disposable tableware, but leave re-usable items at the table. (This was a competitive move by fast food franchises in the early 1960's.) Here are some approaches.
- http://myplasticfreelife.com - by Beth Terry
- Beth Terry is the person who successfully urged the Chlorox Company to recycle Brita filter cartridges in the US, when they previously only offered recycling in Europe.
- National Restaurant Association Blog Entry - 4 tips to be a greener restaurant guest by Annika Stensson
- describes declining straws and utensils and "bring your own".
- http://www.bestrawfree.org - Let's go Strawless!
- "Viv Biz Club Plastic Cutlery - Why People Use It and Why You Shouldn't
- "Ask Pablo" - Ceramic Plates vs Paper Plates
- "No Disposables" Campaign (Korea)
- Korea Zero Waste Movement Network "No Disposables" factsheet (.pdf)
- Discussion on "apartmenttherapy.com"
- One comment describes a barbeque with both re-usable items and disposables, in which the guests choose the re-usables items.
- www.sustainabilityissexy.com (archive.org), blog from www.sustainabilityissexy.com
- directed to re-usable coffee cups. (also archive.org)
- Montgomery County, Maryland (US) Plastic Bag Law
- Example of a local law requiring fees for disposable grocery bags.
(text of statute) (.pdf) Under the law, retailers must charge customers for bags and may not provide a store credit to cover the bag tax amount. As a practical matter, this is not significant, as most markets offer a 5¢ or 10¢ refund for people bringing their own bags. I generally keep a few triple-bagged plastic/paper combination bags under the car's trunk mat for times I forget my purpose-made reusable bags.
- Formula Business Restrictions, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
- Analysis of Cities with Formula Business Ordinances, Malibu (.pdf)
- Includes a partial list (25 locales) of municipal ordinances regulating formula businesses.
- The infamous "Feed the trashcans" ad - Early 1970's McDonald's television advertisement aimed at training children to bus disposables (somewhat creepy but it was effective).
FOOTNOTES:^ The effectiveness of recycling is limited because:
- The percentage of materials returned for recycling is low.
- Even if recycled, recycling is much less efficient that re-use. (i.e., there are far less resources involved in dishwashing, especially at a food service facility.)
- In fast food restaurants and similar public venues, one should only bus re-usable items and not bus disposable items.
^ "Styrofoam" is a trademark of Dow Corning, but is often used generically (especially in North America) to describe polystyrene. The primary significance of this is that it appears that Dow Corning does not market "Styrofoam" cups, so "Styrofoam" cups do not really exist. If only that were true! (There's also an ambiguity about whether "Styrofoam" is expanded polystyrene foam or extruded polystyrene foam, a distinction that is probably of interest primarily to plastic manufacturing engineers.)
First posted 4-Feb-12. Last revised 21-Feb-12.
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