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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but if not, could someone please direct me to the right spot?

We're comtemplating a part retial, part take-out business but I'm very concerned about the environmental impact of using typical take-out packaging materials.

One idea I thought of was selling Kleen Kanteen steel lunch boxes (or the like) and make it clear that we encourage people to bring reusable containers for their take out food. We could also charge a fee for people who don't bring their own container(s), and are unwilling to buy a steel lunch box.

Anyone have any ideas what else I can do to make a take-out business more environmentally friendly?

Thanks
 

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One place that I went to wrapped their sandwiches in butcher paper (or something similar). You could probably find recycled paper for that. As far as soups, salads, etc., your best bet would probably be the discount if they bring their own lunch box or charge extra for take out boxes. You could get recycled plastic containers for people who don't bring their own.
 

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our hfs salad bar has these brown recycled box like containers (w/a waxy lining), if you don't byo container (which they encourage)-also they have "plastic ware" made out of corn! (the first time i saw that i thought it was way cool) they also have nice chopsticks & stainless for sale right by the "plastic-corn ware" somewhere, there has to be a wholesaler for all of that!
good luck, it is a great idea!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the butchers paper idea. I'm sure there are recycled alternative out there (I have to explore the food standards in Canada too).
Talking about sandwiches, have you seen these? : Wrap-N-Mat (plastic but resusable)

Re:"plastic ware" made out of corn

I did some quick research on this, and there seems to be a lot of mixed opinions out there (not a surprise though). Apparently Whole Foods had switched to plastic-corn (they also have allocated space for people to drop off their used corn containers, which they then compost!). This material seems to be ideal in a myriad of ways, but sadly they don't do well when subjected to sufficinet heat (can't serve piping hot food in to them). I won't strike them off my list until I've explored their fesibility throughly though. I think I need a little visit to Whole Foods store


Quote:
hfs salad bar has these brown recycled box like containers (w/a waxy lining), if you don't byo container (which they encourage)...
Your HFS has a salad bar? Cool! tell me more
How do they go about encouraging people to bring/buy their own? I'm trying to figure out some subtle (perhaps) and effective ways of getting the message across.

Great ideas. Keep 'em coming
 

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hmm...well the majority of the food, toiletries, herbs, etc. they sell is in bulk, and you byo containers or bags, of course they provide containers (usually clean mason jars, paper bags, maybe they have plastic too i have never noticed) when you go in you weigh your containers on their scale & use a grease pencil to mark the tare (usually this lasts for a few visits, so you don't have to do this every visit) it works the same for the salad bar. i am sure there are other places like this too.

http://sundancenaturalfoods.com/

this is the link to the store, i never knew they had a website actually LOL but they also have a message board it looks like, so maybe you could ask there?
 

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check out eco products. they carry food containers & To Go Boxes made from corn
i saw an article aboput them in a wine magazine. They are gaining a lot of popularity these days because they fully compost in 45-60 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
aolinsmama your HFS is way ahead of the game compared to the ones we have here. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you brought in your own containers, but from what I've seen they don't promote it. I've bought items only a few items from the HFS closests to me, and I've been tempted to bring my own containers but never have
:

Eco Products looks great! And I think it's a US company (hopefully with prods produced there too) so it'll be easy to buy them from Canada. I really like the Bio-Pak Food Containers, but I need to still find out the environmental cost of the manufacturing process, and if they're fully bio-degradeble (like the corn plastic).

I also came across this site that has paper plates and bowls made from post consumer waste.

I'm glad to see so many environmentally friendly take-out options out there (I've got some great search terms from the replies already... thanks so much all
), but as always, I'm open to finding about more options
 
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