Small steps can make a big difference in helping the environment. To reduce foam containers and plasticware usage in Riverbend Grille, customers will notice more ecofriendly products and a different approach to sustainability.
- China plates will be offered unless otherwise requested.
- Ecofriendly paper plates, bowls and soup containers will replace foam containers.
- Additional charges will be added for some to-go containers (for example, black or brown boxes at Stir-It-Up station). The charge will decrease for the large and small hinged to-go containers at the specialty and salad bars.
Carryout containers made of a paper material will replace foam plates and soup containers. The paper material is microwaveable and impermeable to liquid.
In addition, servers at the entrée line will select a china plate as the first choice, unless a customer requests a paper plate.
On average, 31,500 large foam plates and 30,720 plastic forks alone are used monthly in Riverbend Grille.
Decomposition Takes a Really Long Time
How long does it take for that foam products and plastic to decompose? Experts estimate over 500 years for the plate and 1,000 years for the plasticware. “We hope our customers support our initiative to do what’s right for the environment,” said Courtney Klahn, MS, director of Food and Nutrition Services. “When possible, we recommend the use of reusable plates and utensils, especially when dining in Riverbend Grille.”
When carryout is the only option, customers can use the new paper plates at no charge or pay 50 cents for a plastic hinged container used at the salad bar or 30 cents for the black or brown boxes at the Stir It Up station. Customers don’t pay for the weight of a china plate when purchasing weighed items.
The reduction of foam products only applies to Riverbend Grille and not other areas of the hospital.
Foam cups remain for beverages, but Courtney encourages employees to purchase a reusable cup in Riverbend Grille for only $3. A free refill is included at the time of purchase with future refills discounted.