Take Out Food. More Waste Than Food.

It’s been widely known that take out food consists of a lot of extra ‘garbage’ that comes in the form of packaging. It’s no secret that all that packaging is a big problem in our landfills, and it’s also widely known that restaurants that offer take out have done little to solve this problem.

I don’t personally eat much take out food, although I used to. I’ve always noticed how much trash was left over after a quick meal at any unnamed fast food burger joint, but recently I had an eye opening experience.

I ordered food for four of us at my local Chilis restaurant. I didn’t go all out, just a normal meal for us all.

The food was great, as always, but after we ate, something shocked me. The pile of styrofoam containers, plastic bags, plastic cups, and plastic eatery on the table was as high as my head. I couldn’t believe that all this waste had come from our meal. It was wild.

What am I supposed to do with all this trash? Recycling it is an option, but from what I hear, recycling containers covered in left over food isn’t something I should be doing. So should I wash my garbage before I put it out for recycling? Even if I did, should I expect the rest of the world to do that too? The sad answer is that most people wouldn’t.

So what’s the solution? Well I don’t know. But I know it doesn’t rest with the consumer unless we stop taking out food completely. It rests with the restaurants who choose to use environmentally unfriendly packaging material.

So here’s my solution. Post your solutions here in the comments. And whole you’re at it, get an email or a letter or a phone call over to your favorite take out corporate headquarters and let them know that you want them to take a more responsible approach to food packaging. Getting on them is the only way to green up our take out.

Until that happens, follow the old but sure rule. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

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2 comments to Take Out Food. More Waste Than Food.

  • Consumerism is the American way. I read that we consume some crazy percentage of the worlds goods yet we only make up a tiny percentage of the population. We need to change our fast food way of thinking. But how come we cannot have biodegradable packaging? Isnt cardboard biodegradable?

  • admin

    Consumerism is absolutely the American way. You can see from this recession how just a small dip in ‘average American’ spending can cripple the consumer market and force retail stores out of business. We buy and sell like no other.

    Great point on biodegradable packaging. Cardboard absolutely biodegrades much faster than styrofoam. And with less impact chemically speaking. A move from styrofoam to cardboard would be a move in the right direction for restaurant take out and fast food packaging.

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