CARE For the Cape and Islands Aims to Reduce Plastic Waste From Take-Out

HYANNIS – CARE for the Cape and Islands has released a new “Compostable Food Serviceware Buying Guide” to help cut down on the environmental impact of plastic waste that has resulted from adjustments made due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guide aims to provide restaurants with eco-friendly alternatives to the plastic take-out containers and serviceware such as cups, plates, bowls and utensils that have increased in use due to the rise in take-out amid the pandemic.

Some of the information in the guide includes choosing products that are certified by the Compost Manufacturing Alliance or Biodegradable Products Institute rather than those that the organization said makes vague claims of biodegradability, using molded fiber products and product suggestions with links to providers.  

Jill Talladay, Director for CARE for the Cape and Islands, said that the guide was created in collaboration with the Wellfleet Recycling Committee and Woods Hole Sea Grant, which provided a large amount of research on possible products for the guide.

“It’s really to make it into a real easy, how-to guide so that when a restaurant is looking to purchase products, they can speak to the vendors intelligently and ask the right questions,” said Talladay.

Talladay said that if they could get restaurants to buy cooperatively, the cost of compostable containers would be brought down. 

She also said that the customers themselves may be able to help alleviate the cost.

“Many of the people that are the customers are willing to pay a few pennies more to have something that isn’t hurting the environment,” said Talladay.

Talladay said that the move towards compostable containers would help preserve the natural beauty of Cape Cod, one of the traits that keeps visitors coming back year after year.

The Compostable Food Servicewear Buying Guide is available as a free download on the Care for the Cape and Islands website.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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