The waste generated by packaging of the food and beverage products that we enjoy, whether at home or while traveling, is astounding. Each of us has the responsibility to not only not use disposable containers, as much as is feasible, but to educate the businesses that are using these disposable items. Nowadays there are plenty of alternatives and ignorance is no longer an excuse.
We acknowledge that the waste of food itself is also an important issue, but we are focused on the packaging materials that our food and drink products come in. As food-loving travelers, much of the food and drink we buy is in disposable containers, and we cannot stop our good recycling behaviors that we practice at home, just because we are on holiday out of the country.
You can do your part to help help reduce food and beverage packaging waste. We give you some ideas below. If we've missed anything, please let us know at help(at)worldfoodtravel(dot)org.
As a CONSUMER, by pledging, you agree to:
- Reduce your own consumption of plastic cutlery, straws, grocery bags and other disposable packaging of food and beverage products.
- Refuse plastic whenever feasible. If you still must use plastic, you agree to take the items home with you to wash and recycle. And question the business: why are they not using biodegradeable materials?
- Reuse any items that you can (such as plastic grocery store bags).
- Recycle any items that you can, whether they are plastic, glass, aluminum, tin, paper or cardboard. Make an effort to take recyclable trash with you until you can find a recycling recepticle.
- Inform businesses that use these items that eco-friendly alternatives exist. Examples include bamboo cutlery, paper drinking straws, and biodegradable corn "plastic" takeaway containers. Help them to understand that this is an important concern for you as a paying customer.
As a TRADE PROFESSIONAL, by pledging, you agree to:
- Stop using all disposable items as quickly as is reasonably feasible. We understand this may be an enormous task for some business owners. You may need to do this in stages (e.g. stop offering plastic straws, then stop plastic ramekins, etc.). You should have either eliminated all disposable items already, or have a plan in place for when you will have eliminated all such items. We're primarily concerned about non-recyclable items and items that could be recycled but won't be because of contamination with food. For ideas as to what you can do now, download our 10-Step Foodservice Checklist on this page.