Foodservice waste compromises a great deal of waste and litter in consumer economies. Here in the United States, because we use so many single-use plastics, that waste piles up and plastic does not biodegrade anytime soon. The waste ends up in landfills and often ends up in the ocean and other waterways. Plastic is even ending up in the food supply and inside humans through food and water. However, there are some new solutions coming along that aim to end the use of single use paper and plastic.

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Plastic or Paper?

Plastic survives for hundreds of years. With our propensity for single-use plastics, this has become a huge waste problem that has recently come into sharp focus through plastic straw bans. Paper cups are no better. While they can be recycled, they often come with plastic lids that don’t get removed or they are covered in wax which makes recycling them cost prohibitive. Often they end up landfills anyway. Paper also tends to come from trees which take 20 or more years to grow to produce a paper cup used for less than a day. One company is attempting to move the needle on single-use plastics and paper with compostable bamboo cups.

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Bamboo Cups

Bamboo is not just for pandas. Bamboo is wonderfully sustainable because it grows in abundance and it can grow quite quickly. Far faster than trees and it does not require dangerous extraction like oil for plastic. These new cups use a neutral color so that fewer cleansers are used and the best part is that the cups don’t need to be recycled because they are compostable! That’s right, these cups just disappear. The company is World Centric and they have a whole collection of NoTree cups, lids, and straws that are compostable.

World Centric® adds 100% compostable, tree-free paper cold cups to its NoTree™ collection

The Future of Consumption

Obviously, the waste of single-use products is piling up and new and more sustainable solutions are needed sooner rather than later. Plastic is choking our oceans and killing off ocean ecosystems. If ocean ecosystems die, seafood and all the people that rely on it will suffer. These types of products are vital to improving the waste that humans produce. These types of products are very necessary and the best thing we can do as consumers is to keep asking for them everywhere we go. It’s good for the environment and good for we the consumers as well.