When a biodegradable SunChips bag hit the shelves buyers complained that the bags were “too noisy,” resulting in Pepsi’s Frito-Lay ditching the compostable bags. C’mon. Can we not endure a little inconvenience for packaging that will fully decompose in a fraction of the time? But it goes beyond the health of our environment. Our bodies are also in trouble in regard to food packaging.
PFAS In Your Popcorn.
A group of 4,700 chemicals known as PFAS are used as water and stain repellents in food packaging, take-out boxes, nonstick wrappers, fast-food containers, and so much more. The PFAS family of chemicals are persistent, both in the environment and in our bodies, meaning they don’t break down easily. The Centers for Disease Control found that 98% of Americans had at least one PFAS detected in their blood. These chemicals are classified as endocrine (hormone) disruptors in men, women, children, and in animals. PFAS are also considered obesogens – meaning, they can contribute to your weight gain.
Dr. Graham Peaslee at the University of Notre Dame analyzed 38 microwave popcorn and pizza boxes to check for PFAS lining the containers. Results showed PFAS in every popcorn package and one pizza box.
Unfortunately, the “eco-friendly” fiber bowls used at Chipotle, Sweetgreen, and Dig Inn contain the forever chemical PFAS, because in order to make the bowls grease proof and waterproof they add PFAS chemicals to them. Of the thousands of chemicals in the PFAS family, only a handful have been studied for toxicity. And what is known about the ones that have been studied is troubling. However, it looks as though compostable food service ware could be free of PFAS by January 2020 – let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Compostable Dining Ware Options.
Alternative sustainable, recyclable and compostable serving containers are becoming more and more commonplace as materials such as Styrofoam are being banned across the country. The image above was taken at the wedding of a friend. Her palm leaf plates created a stunning place setting and reflected her desires to create less waste at her celebration.
Other options of interest when it comes to dining ware include those made from sugarcane and bamboo available from Eco Products and those made from wheat straw fiber available from World Centric. Even a corn-based line of dining ware and cutlery has been developed.
Bamboo Saves The Oceans.
By 2050, research shows there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish (by weight). What if we kept a set of reusable utensils in our car or purse so when we decide to get a salad to go, we don’t need the Single Use Plastic (SUP) that we’ll toss in the trash when we’ve finished? Net Zero Company has a wonderful set made from sustainable bamboo. For a large get together where disposable utensils are desired, corn-based cutlery is available through Ecovita.
Happy Holiday Celebrations
There are times when disposable dining ware and cutlery are desired in order to cut down on clean up time during celebrations. And now it’s possible to save the planet and save time through the many innovative products now flooding the market to serve our needs. Oh, and just wait for the new containers being produced from mushroom mycelium and hemp…!