By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | April 8, 2008
A few days ago I took a lunchtime meander down to my local Whole Foods, to pick up some groceries and to-go food. And I saw that they’d replaced the stacks of plastic clamshell to-go containers with stacks of quite obviously non-plastic to-go containers! It was really exciting! Because I have no idea exactly how many of of those non-recyclable plastic containers they provided each week/month/year, but you can bet it was a jaw-dropping number– so now they’re providing a jaw-dropping number of these paper-based containers, which are, at least theoretically, compostable. And most definitely not made from petroleum.
Surprisingly, I can’t really find any info online about this change. This is the kind of switch they could be shouting from the rooftops and leveraging to increase their green cred… so it’s kind of interesting that they’re not. We’ve all heard that, as of this month, they’re going to stop providing plastic bags at check out– but why so quiet about this other major change? On one hand, it’s still a whole lot of waste generated, and those containers are not going to compost themselves while sealed in an anaerobic landfill. On the other hand, less plastic is a good thing any which way you cut it.
I’m pretty sure these here are the containers WF is using, though, again, there’s a real dearth of online info about this :
“EATware(tm) single use boxes, bowls, trays and plates represent a new concept in pulp container materials and manufacturing. Our products are 100 percent all natural, made with fibers such as bamboo, sugar cane pulp, starch and water, with no chemical additives, so they are totally decomposable and bio-degradable… EATware(tm) products decompose in soil within 180 days or will totally disperse in water within just two weeks.”
A commenter on this Inhabit post from last June said she’d noticed those containers at her local WF as of last year… so, maybe NYC is just late to the game on this one? In any case, it was a change I was glad to see. Though it really did make me wish I had a compost pile going on, so that I’d be able to test the compostibility factor for myself.
It absolutely goes without saying to shop at a local natural foods market when you can (my parents owned a health food store when I was young, and the smell of carob brings me right back)– but it’s good to know that the big megashops can pave the way with changes such as these– we’re sure to see other retailers implementing the same types of changes soon afterwards.
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