Applying innovation to reduce, reuse, and recycle
Just like our food choices, our selection of to-go containers and disposable serviceware has environmental impacts. At Bon Appétit Management Company, our first choice is always to encourage the use of china and silverware. When to-go containers are necessary, we try hard to choose those whose production and disposal are the least damaging. Since 2001 we’ve been using plates, clamshells, cups, bowls, and flatware from renewable sources such as corn, sugarcane, and potato starch in select locations. We are conscious that questions remain about the energy inputs required to manufacture and transport these products and the resulting impacts on climate change from both manufacturing and disposal. We continue to research options and await more public, peer-reviewed studies. We are also actively introducing alternatives to disposable containers. At several universities and corporate locations, we have successfully introduced a reusable plastic clamshell for to-go orders.
What happens to the products post-use is crucial as well. We recycle as much as possible and compost at many of our locations, whether through municipal pickups, campus farm onsite piles, or arrangements with local farmers.