There have been a number of environmental campaigns urging foodservice operators to go strawless, and plastic-free over the past year. That’s because it’s estimated that over 500 million are used every day in America!

You’ve made the switch. To biodegradable straws, paper straws, metal straws or no straws at all… But does it end there?

Here are our three tips to keep the momentum going with your restaurant’s plastic-free commitment!

1. Takeout Items

Does your restaurant do a large volume of takeout orders?

The amount of plastic used unnecessarily with takeout can get a bit ridiculous!

First off, don’t provide disposable cutlery unless requested.

Psst… They’re eating the food at home, where they have their own cutlery!

Secondly, switch from hard plastic takeout containers to paper-based containers. This can lower cost, and also will reduce your plastic consumption as a business!

2. Black Plastic

Did you know in Toronto black plastic can’t be recycled?

That’s because of the way the machinery recognizes (or can’t recognize) the numbering on the material.

This isn’t the say black plastic can’t be processed everywhere… But if you’re in Toronto, definitely be rid of it all together.

And if you’re outside Toronto, be sure to double check with your municipality if it can be processed or not!

3. Biodegradable Plastics

According to a recent Restaurants Canada blog, things can get a little complicated when it comes to environmentally sound plastics.

Number one rule to remember when it comes to plant-based, or eco-friendly plastics…

Just because it says it is “compostable/biodegradable” doesn’t mean in can or will be processed that way!

For example, many biodegradable plastics require high heat to break down appropriately. And if you waste hauler doesn’t process organics with high heat, then that plastic ends up going to landfill!

And so does the extra money you spent on that product.

So when choosing to opt for biodegradable plastics, just make sure to double check your waste hauler and your municipality can accept that material.

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Lucy Cullen


plastic-free, strawless,