Monday, August 8, 2011

A Good Thing?

We occasionally eat fast food, not often but sometimes. One of the places we go to is Baja Fresh and so I was of course happy to see that they are now serving their food on compostable plates, and using compostable paper too. These plates really are great but I wonder how many of them are actually getting composted? Ours did but I wonder how many other people are composting their plates after eating their takeout mexican food, and what happens to the majority of the plates that are thrown away in the store? Are they really going somewhere to be composted or are they just getting thrown away as usual? It makes me want to go down there and collect all the compostable plates and compost them in our backyard compost bin!

I really do appreciate that efforts are being made by large companies to "go green" but I wonder sometimes how much some of these things are truly thought through before they are implemented. In reality they may actually be helping our earth more by ensuring that the Mahi Mahi in their fish taco's is US long- line caught. Insisting that their food is sustainably sourced will make the greatest long term environmental impact for any of these fast food companies I think.

4 comments:

Rohrerbot said...

Good point. Some are places are great about this....some are just catching on to the idea for both where they're purchasing their products and how they're selling it. Have a great week!

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

I had a conversation with Town Mouse/Country Mouse in SF about this. I had some "compostable" cups I put in my composter that weren't breaking down. She said that the compostable disposable dishwares were designed to break down in the high-heat municipal piles. Problem is, if municipal green waste sees the cups and silverware in the green waste, they presume it's plastic and pick it out. Throwing it in the regular trash doesn't help either as the dumps are anaerobic and don't break anything down. Town Mouse just uses washables and reuses. If you were faced with compostables, I would hold onto them and feed them through a lawn mower/chipper and then put them in your green waste. My solution's a lot of work, so maybe TM's is the better way to go.

Mo said...

Thanks Susan for this! I wonder, were your cups called "compostable" or just "biodegradeable"? I think there is a difference on how fast they break down. The Baja Fresh plates are made of a very soft cardboard like material and these are similar to the compostable packaging I get with produce from Trader Joe's. These seem to compost down just fine in our pile. I think perhaps the "plastic-like" biodegradeable/ compostable cups and utensils are made of something that is not so easily home compostable. I wonder if your compost pile wasn't quite hot enough where you put the cups too because in theory all biodegradeable things should biodegrade eventually. I shall watch the plates closely and see how long they take to compost and let you know! :)

Mo said...

I just reread my response to Susan and realized what a load of old cobwash it is! I mean is there even a difference between biodegradeable and compostable anyway? Sometimes I would be better to just not say/ write anything, especially when I can't gather any coherent thoughts together. I think it is time for bed! :)