Can Disposable Tableware Make Airports Greener?

As anyone who travels knows all too well, a lot of people pass through America’s airports on any given day. America’s connecting airports, like Chicago and Dallas, handle an unbelievable amount of passengers throughout the year. Many of these locations still do not have recycling containers or composting bins available for people to dispose of their trash properly. 

Whenever you get this many people in one venue, some of whom are there for an extended period of time, trash accumulates as travelers eat and dispose of their waste. There are a few simple solutions which can alter the amount of trash that needs to be hauled away to a landfill. The secret is simple: Compost the waste.

Walk through the food court of any airport and you will find the following merchants, regardless of brand name: Hamburgers, pizza, coffee, maybe a bakery, Chinese food/noodle bowls/rice bowl, Mexican food and probably an ice cream/gelato vendor. These are basic food stalls that we can all identify because they are everywhere. Let us look at what they have in common and how we might be able to reduce the trash that comes from these vendors.

One simple solution is to switch from traditional disposable plates to compostable disposable plates. EnviroTakeout has many products that are made from bagasse (sugar cane) which is an annually renewable resource that is compostable. So what is the difference between traditional disposable plates and compostable plates? If you toss a foam plate or tray in a landfill, it will be there until the next ice age. Foam will not break down and disappear, so we need to keep finding more landfill space for plastic and other petroleum-based products. Compostable items will break down in a commercial composting facility, and even in a backyard compost bin or pile. A commercial facility can break down a compostable disposable plate or bowl in about 60 days. If the local airport food merchants served meals on EnviroTakeout's selection of compostable disposable plates, platters, bowls, cups, and lids we could eliminate tons of trash from the local landfill every week, depending on the size of the airport.

There is a wide assortment of eco-friendly containers, tableware, cups and more made from sugar cane, bamboo and other annually renewable resources available. These products are sustainable and the waste can be turned into mulch which can then be used to grow more food or help gardens, lawns, or parks use less water to keep them green and growing. So we saved water, decreased or eliminated the need for additional landfill space, and lowered the airport’s actual cost for trash hauling services by reducing the overall tonnage that needed to be removed from the facility. Sounds like a good solution, and this would more than offset any additional cost increase in using compostable disposable plates as opposed traditional foam or plastic plates. Sounds like a win-win for the airport, the taxpayer, and the local community.