Saving the Environment One Spoon at a Time

lily-ecotaster1_lowres1Take-out food and sustainability – Is it even possible? Whether you pick up fast food for lunch or ice cream for dessert, the point of takeout is easy acquirement and disposability, not environment sustainability. But what happens to all the waste? If the waste is a plastic spoon it could take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill. Luckily organizations like the National Resturant Foundation and innovative entrepreneurs are coming up with ways to make the food business more sustainable.

Peggy Cross, an entrepreneur and product packaging designer, founded EcoTensil as means to reduce “one taste plastic waste” (i.e. sample spoons used to taste test ice cream flavors or other in-store samples). Though carrying around usable utensils might be the most sustainable option, it is not always feasible. No one wants to be carrying around a dirty spoon in their bag. Plastic utensils can take hundreds of years to decompose and other bio degradable options like potato spoons can still take months to years to biodegrade. All four of EcoTensils products are made in the United States from renewable paperboard and are FSC certified as sustainably forested. EcoTensils are both recyclable and biodegradable making them easy and sustainable to dispose of.

EcoTensil’s smallest product, the EcoTaster takes only 3-5 weeks to biodegrade and won the award for Best Green Product at Natural Products Expo in 2010. The EcoTaster ,who’s texture resembles a milk carton, is a little trickier to use then a normal spoon but considering how much less of an impact it makes then a normal spoon is worth the trouble. Sustainability will be an important aspect to the future of the restaurant and food industry. According to the National Restaurant Association, 60 percent of consumers prefer to patronize restaurants that recycle, and 51 percent of consumers indicate that they are willing to pay more at restaurants that recycle. By using innovative products like the EcoTensil, not only will food related businesses be more appetizing to customers, but they will also be able to reduce their environmental footprint.

EcoTaster (top) vs. biodegradable spoon after 2 weeks

EcoTaster (top) vs. biodegradable spoon after 2 weeks

Image Credits : EcoTensil

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

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