28 April

Innovations in Non-Plastics

Synergy Restaurant Consultants | food trends, restaurant efficiency, Restaurant Management, Restaurant Technology, restaurant trends
Straw ban

Last Monday was Earth Day – this worldwide event is to bring awareness of the importance of environmental protection. That awareness also extends to the foodservice industry. On Monday, April 22, 2019 (coinciding with Earth Day) the City of Los Angeles put a new ordinance into effect, aimed at reducing single-use plastic waste. This new law requires that plastic straws be only given upon request in restaurants that have over 26 employees.

This eco-conscious move comes at a time when more and more cities are taking action against the use of single-use plastics. To reduce plastic waste, last year Seattle enacted a ban on not only plastic straws but plastic utensils as well, making compostable/biodegradable alternatives available instead. Restaurateur Danny Meyer recently announced that plastic straws would be eliminated from all U.S. Shake Shack locations, a move that Starbucks plans to achieve globally by 2020.

The trend is clear—foodservice companies are getting more environmentally friendly (either by force or choice) amidst the increased global concern over plastic waste. So what kind of alternatives are available to help restaurants comply with new laws against plastics? What are compostable straws made of and what do they look like? What are the costs?

Surprisingly, there are already many straws made from alternate, more eco-friendly materials. Innovation in this area is booming! Currently available are straws made of bamboo, paper, hay silicone, glass, steel, corn plastic, and even pasta! For the most economical value, a restaurant would likely opt for biodegradable paper straws which cost an average of about 5 cents a piece, which is double the cost of traditional plastic straws. It is easy to find non-plastic straw alternatives available in bulk from your usual restaurant product supplier or popular online sites like Amazon.

food trends, restaurant efficiency, Restaurant Management, Restaurant Technology, restaurant trends