Tips for Restaurants

Use Reusable Dishes

Using reusable dishware saves businesses money overtime, they use far less energy over their lifetime, and the chances of them polluting our waters is much lower than disposable counterparts.

Problems


Foam Cups Are Often Found In Our Waters

Foam cups can get blown or washed into our storm drains that empty directly into streams and Mobile Bay.

Photo by Waferboard - CC2.0

More than 50,000 Foam Cups and Plates Recovered in 2015

In 2015 as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers recovered over 57,193 plastic cups and plates the majority of which were made from EPS foam (Ocean Conservancy, 2016).

Plastic Foam Does Not Biodegrade

When pieces of plastic foam (such as polystyrene) enter our waterways, wind and waves break them into smaller and smaller pieces until they are almost invisible to the naked eye. These microplastics (any plastic piece less than 5mm in size) can be ingested by a variety of marine life including invertebrates (e.g., oysters, mussels) and fish that feed on plankton and other microparticulates. The plastic can cause direct and indirect damage to these organisms leading to losses in important species in the ecosystem. Also the chemicals from which the plastics are derived can have negative impacts on marine organisms, causing toxicity and disruption to reproduction, which has significant implications for the entire food web (Algalita, 2015).

Photo by Phyrexian - CC BY-SA 3.0

Polystyrene Found in Marine Animal Intestines

Polystyrene foam is often found lodged in the intestines of marine animals causing blockages from eating the wrong thing. This often leads to death. (BBC, 2015)

EPS foam fragments recovered from Dauphin Island. Picture by Caitlin Wessel

200M Items in 30 years

Over the course of the 30-year history of the International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers have removed over 200 million items from beaches and waterways around the world. The top-ten list of items removed includes items like plastics bottles, plastic bottle caps, aluminum cans, cigarette butts, derelict fishing gear and a range of disposable plastic goods and food packaging. (Ocean Conservancy, 2016)

Things You Can Do


Use Washable Dishware

Using reusable dishware saves businesses money overtime, they use far less energy over their lifetime, and the they are not a pollution risk.

ChefLand Stackable Restaurant 16oz Cups from Amazon

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Resources

Links

Portland Oregon Reusable Dishware

Reusable Dishware (Why switch?)
from City of Portland's Sustainability at Work website.

ECO Products

Portland Farmers Market switches to reusable dishware - Article about how The Market coordinated with all the food venders to rid the market of disposable dishware.

Food Waste Alliance

Restaurant Case Study - on Portland Oregon's Sustainability at Work Website

Other Options