Over the past few years, some jurisdictions have sought to reduce the amount of plastic used in the foodservice industry, and while some businesses have been hesitant to make the change, many have embraced it. Eliminating plastic appeals to a wide selection of environmentally conscious consumers and can also potentially reduce the amount of waste your business produces. This week, we’ll cover a few plastic reduction alternatives certified food safety managers can utilize in their establishments.
Plastic Reduction Alternatives for Certified Food Safety Managers
If you were to take a quick tour of any restaurant, you’d find a number of plastic items. To-go boxes, bags, straws, utensils and take-out serving dishes are all commonly made from plastic. Whether you’re voluntarily reducing your plastic usage or your local jurisdiction has passed codes and laws preventing plastic use, your certified food manager will have to find alternatives for these types of items. Here are a few solutions that you can employ to replace plastic necessities in your facility:
- Paper and compostable boxes and bags
- Reusable takeout containers
- Biodegradable utensils and straws
In the past, plastic bags and Styrofoam to-go containers have been go-to packaging for guests looking for take-out or a way to bring leftovers home. With current trends, many different manufacturers have started producing paper bags and compostable boxes that are either easily recyclable or will break down over time rather than take up space in a landfill. These items may cost a little bit extra, but as more companies produce these products costs should begin to decline.
With the latest update to the Minnesota Food Code, the rules concerning reusable containers have been updated and more clearly outlined. Reusable containers not only reduce plastic waste, they give you the opportunity to sell or provide your guests with reusable take-out containers with your logo and branding on them. This can not only help to conform to local plastic reduction codes but provide a valuable marketing tool for certified food managers to draw repeat business from loyal guests.
Straws and utensils such as forks, spoons and knives present unique challenges since many consumers prefer a sturdy utensil that won’t break during use. The good news is that many companies are now producing durable wood alternatives and great advances have been made to produce robust biodegradable utensils that can easily replace plastic.
Are you making an effort to reduce plastic waste in your facility?