Keeping Cups Out of Landfills

Keeping Cups Out of Landfills

Food & Drink

Keeping Cups Out of Landfills

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By Cari Martens

Hold on. Don’t throw that Coke cup in the trash. That’s the message Pacific Northwest fast food chain Burgerville is now communicating to it customers.

In an effort to keep more trash from piling up in landfills, Burgerville has introduced new cups, lids and straws that are compostable, according to a report on KATU-TV.

It’s all part of a three-year project that included Coca-Cola and International Paper. Alison Dennis, Burgerville’s director of supply chain, said it’s a move that could really add up.

‘When you think about it, just about every guest that comes to Burgerville uses a cup, so being able to switch all of this waste stream from the landfill bin to the compost bin adds up to a pretty big difference,’ Dennis told KATU.

The company’s goal is to have 85 percent of what people throw away never go into landfills, she said.

Burgerville’s new “ecotainer” soft drink cups and lids, created by International Paper and The Coca-Cola Company, use a plant-based coating instead of a plastic coating to make them water-resistant. The company began its recycling and composting efforts in 2007.

To make it easier for both employees and customers, the chain has compost, recycling and landfill-bound trash bins in both the dining rooms and kitchens of most of its restaurants.

Customers will find three bins in the dining room: One for regular garbage, one for items that can be composted (cups, lids, and straws), and one for items that can be recycled. Before Burgerville switched to cups and lids that could be composted, customers had to separate the straw, the cup, and the lid. The straw could go into compost, while the cup and the lid had to go into the landfill bin.

Now customers can simply leave the straw inside the cup and toss the whole shabang into the compost bin.

Burgerville sees its sustainability efforts as just another part of being socially responsible.

Hopefully other restaurants and retailers will follow Burgerville’s lead as we all strive to move ahead to a new Green World.

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