Reuse Packaging and Improve the Environment
Have you ever looked at how much packaging you throw away every day? Even if you're recycling your empty plastic yogurt containers, cereal boxes, and ketchup bottles, it still adds up really fast. You certainly feel better putting those empty containers in the recycling bin rather than the garbage can. But there is still a lot of work and energy required to convert those recycled items into usable materials. So is there a solution to lowering energy consumption and being more earth-friendly with your packaging? There is: reuse packaging.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
If you remember back to your elementary school days, you probably learned the phrase, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The Environmental Protection Agency designed this program to help people learn ways to protect the environment. Today, let's focus on the second step of protecting our environment: reuse. We have become a society full of easy, quick meals, often with lots of packaging waste. Many easy-to-eat snacks come double-packaged: your granola bar is in a box and a foil wrapper. So how can we work towards eliminating so much packaging? By reusing what we already have.
How are stores and restaurants trying to reduce how much packaging is used? Some grocery stores offer discounts if you bring your own reusable bags. Other stores don't bag your groceries at all. And what about fast food? Most of it these days comes wrapped in paper or shoved in Styrofoam trays with a stack of paper napkins. What if fast food restaurants strove to eliminate packaging waste? This fall, a new restaurant called Ancolie will be opening in New York City, and it will do just that. All of the meals will be served in glass jars, with nearly zero packaging waste. For more insight into this enterprising new restaurant, check out this article from Gothamist or this one from New York Eater.
Choosing Reusable Containers
If you want to lower your restaurant's landfill load, you can use more reusable containers. At Container & Packaging Supply, we have many different options for reusable containers. If you like the heft and attraction of glass, check out our glass jars. They come in different shapes and sizes, and there might be one or two that are perfect for your needs. If you prefer plastic, we have lots of plastic jars and tubs. If you are just looking for ways around your own home to minimize waste and shrink your recycling pile, you can also get reusable containers. Plastic tubs can eliminate single-use plastic bags.
Another method to reduce waste and reuse packaging is buying in bulk. Go for a big container, then divide it into small plastic tubs. This way, you don't have lots of disposable packages to discard like you would if you were to buy your favorite snack in smaller containers.
Here's a challenge for you: take a look in your pantry or fridge, and figure out one way to reduce or reuse packaging to lower the amount that goes in your recycling and garbage cans each week. Post a comment below, and let’s see how many great ideas we can come up with together. Get creative, and feel good about the changes you are making, not only for yourself, but also for the earth!