Take a second and think about all the elements that go into the efficient administration and operation of a hospital. Go on. I am waiting. Did eco-friendly disposables come into your mind? Probably not. However, at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, hospital management and staff made a big leap in reducing our collective carbon footprint and eliminating the health risks associated with using plastic disposables.
Hospitals typically go through hundreds of thousands of cups, plates, bowls and other disposable products every year. St. Vincent's reported a staggering 1,194,000 cups were used and tossed each year. This waste adds up -- particularly when the items in question are made of polystyrene foam, more commonly known as Styrofoam.
In an effort to reduce public health problems and help create and maintain a greener world, hospitals countrywide are phasing out products made of plastic foam, which resists biodegradation and is not always accepted by recycling programs.
Quick-service restaurants with Seattle locations are well aware the city's "foam ban" goes fully into effect July 1. That means throw-away packaging can no longer be made of expanded polystyrene and must be either recyclable or compostable.
Many restaurants in California and Washington already comply with bans of expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam; the Seattle ordinance is the first to require single use food service products to be compostable or recyclable. A number of California municipalities have also banned polystyrene products.
Restaurants have had two years to develop a plan to comply with the latter portion of the law, and some chains are better prepared than others. Many, like McDonald's, have switched to products with recycled content but have not made the change to recyclable of compostable products. Subway changed to recyclable service ware last year starting with their coffee cups.
Compostable plates are the perfect option for entertaining in an eco-friendly way. These disposables are not only made from earth-friendly materials like sugarcane, leaves and bamboo but they can also be composted for nutrient laden soil. Learn more about the advantages of compostable plates.
Disposable plates can certainly make cleaning up after a party easy and convenient. Moreover, for parties where small kids would be around, they eliminate the risk of breakages. Unfortunately, since most disposable plates are made from plastic and Styrofoam, they do not decompose or degrade making them not the best choice for the environment. This is where green living enthusiasts can choose compostable plates which are both disposable and degradable. Here is more on the advantages of compostable plates — learn how to make your next party a green and clean affair.