What to Say ...

Bus Reusable Utensils but...

Don't Bus Throw-Away Utensils and Tableware

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.

Insist on Reusable Items and Don't Bus Throw-Away Items

The first approach is to ask for non-disposable items. In many cases, restaurants already provide re-usable items for their preferred customers.
Ask for re-usable items:
"I'd like that for here."
"... if I can get that for here. Can I get that for here?"
"I don't want it to taste like styrofoam [1] (or paper)"
"That's a throw-away item I didn't request and will not use." (for straws, lids, etc., that are not used by all customers)   "... It's a disposable item that is in the way for 20 minutes, and then it goes into a landfill for another 200 years."
"That's wasteful."
"That's a disposable item that I didn't request and didn't ask for."
Bus reusable items, but leave disposible items at the table. Provide reusable items.

Elsewhere (Home and Work)

"None of the disposables are microwavable."
(for re-usable containers at work and elsewhere) Almost no commonly-used disposable containers are microwavable. The entire idea is to save cost. Even paper cups could be plastic coated. (see Microwave-Safe Plastics.)

Retrieve your reusable cup (if available) if offered a throw-away one.

Look at styrofoam containers to see if they are partially dissolved by hot foods. Then say something.
(After all, they're used because "cost is no object" -- whatever is cheapest.)

Say Something

What Others are Saying

links - Links, Allies and What Others Are Saying

back to Don't Bus Throwaways


[1]^     "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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