The More Flavor Less Plastic Campaign was created to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of commonly used single-use plastics. The same properties that make plastic products cheap, lightweight, and durable also make them persist in our environment anywhere from 100 to 1000 years polluting our oceans, waterways and harming our marine life. It is estimated that by 2050 the amount of plastics in our oceans will outweigh the fish. Therefore, it is imperative to reduce our usage of single-use plastics.
Consequently, countries across the globe have enacted policies regulating single-use plastic waste. The City of Fort Lauderdale is proud to be a part of this movement with legislation banning the sale and distribution of plastic straws within City limits (Code of Ordinances Section 16-140). In addition, the City’s More Flavor Less Plastic Campaign encourages businesses and individuals to also reduce their use of other single-use plastics such as bags, utensils, bottles etc. Together we can aid in preserving the environment for future generations by embedding sustainable practices into our daily habits and behavior patterns. As the demand for sustainable alternative products like plastic increases, suppliers will continue to meet the needs of consumers.
Sustainable Alternatives for Commonly Used Single-use Plastics
There are reusable, compostable and disposable alternatives to plastic utensils which include stainless steel, bamboo, wooden and edible cutlery. Additionally, there are also a few compact and convenient options available such as the spoon-fork-knife reusable combo and collapsible chopsticks.
Some easy alternatives for plastic stirrers are edible or wooden substitutes!
Straws are one of the easiest products to cut out, just go strawless! Sustainable alternatives to plastic straws include paper, sugarcane, bamboo, pasta, or a reusable metal straw. As per the City Code of Ordinances Section 16-140, the sale and distribution of plastic straws will be banned in the City of Fort Lauderdale effective January 2020.
There are biodegradable and compostable alternatives to plastic and styrofoam take out containers which include bagasse, and wheatstraw containers. Paper boxes are a viable option as well.
Reusable cups and mugs serve as a great alternative for disposable plastic and styrofoam cups. There are also eco-friendly alternatives such as paper cups without PLA lining and bagasse made from sugar cane fiber.
Reusable bottles are very common and a great sustainable alternative to plastic bottles. Many businesses offer filtered water and soda, tea and/or juice refilling stations.
Reusable bags, such as cotton or linen, and paper bags are sustainable alternatives to plastic bags.
Green Tips for Businesses
- Offer reusable cutlery for customers dining in and ask customers ordering take out should if they need disposable cutlery before simply putting it in their to go bag. This will reduce plastic waste as many customers may be heading home or back to work where they have access to reusable cutlery.
- Try removing plastic stirrers from the public eye and only give them out per request; you will be surprised with how many people don’t need one!
- Businesses should consider encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bag and take out container, as appropriate, from home when visiting their establishment and incentivizing them when they do!
- Businesses, such as coffee shops, can offer patrons a discount if they bring their own mug to encourage the use of reusable mugs.
Single-Use Plastics: A Road Map for Sustainability. (2018). United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved from https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/25496/singleUsePlastic_sustainability.pdf?isAllowed=y&sequence=1.
United Nations official report on single-use plastics which analyzes the impacts of plastics and provides strategies to reduce them.
Sip in Style. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.mbrisingabove.com/climate-mitigation/plastic-free-miami-beach/for-approval-how-miami-beach-sips/
Miami Beach's resources for business owners and individuals towards to becoming plastic-free.
Debris Free Oceans. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://debrisfreeoceans.org/sustainability-consulting
Nonprofit organization that provides free resources, including a vendor product guide for biodegradable and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic and offers sustainable consulting services.
Terenzio, O., & Terenzio, T. (2018, August 28). 12 Ways to Make Your Restaurant More Sustainable. Retrieved from https://openforbusiness.opentable.com/tips/12-ways-to-make-your-restaurant-more-sustainable/
Informative article on incorporating sustainability into restaurants.
Product Stewardship Institute. 3 Steps to Reduce Plastic and Benefit Your Business: A Guide for Restaurants & Eateries. Retrieved from https://www.productstewardship.us/page/RestaurantGuide
A comprehensive how-to guide for small eateries on reducing plastic consumption to save money and the planet.