Filed under: Business + Politics, Food + Health, Waste + Recycling | Tags: Business, disposable, environment, paper, plastic, recycle, recycling, to go, waste, waste management
“First Watch on College, this is Sonya, what can I get for you today?”
“Alright, I have a To-Go order of a triple stack of blueberry pancakes, a three cheese omelette and an extra side of potatoes. Would we get you anything else?”
She didn’t even have to ask.
With that order will come disposable styrofoam boxes, disposable plastic silverware, a disposable paper menu, disposable single serving jellies, ketchups and syrups, and plenty of extra paper napkins. It’s all complementary. Complements of your ecosystem.
I know what you’re thinking: this is almost overwhelming.
But don’t you worry– it all comes in a convenient, giant plastic sack. Maybe even two if it’s necessary (and sometimes when it’s not!). We even give you a disposable 3 oz paper cup for your coffee while you wait.
To-Go practices is hardly the first thing that comes to mind when I think of wasteful practices at First Watch. And whether this strikes you as good news or bad news, I can tell you that the company is not evil and not unusual.
It is delicious. Our orange juice is unbeatable. We go through at least five jugs each Sunday. When we finish one off, we toss it in the trash. It joins the glass apple juice jugs, plastic milk cartons and countless other packaging materials that are tossed each and every day.
It will not join the cardboard boxes in which they are delivered.
No, of course. We recycle cardboard.
I would love to see Chris Jordan do a piece on how much waste reduction could result from a nifty, space-saving tower of recycle bins being placed in each First Watch throughout the country. In fact, every restaurant I’ve worked for could use one. Could it become as standard a business practice as the employee hand-washing sign? That guy’s everywhere.
As far as To-Go’s, I would look to “Reduce” before “Recycle” in my triple-R toolbox. I mentioned in a previous post Jason’s Deli’s new practice to include extra resources only upon request. This easily be mimicked by restaurants all over the world and the impact would be colossal.
That covers the supply-side, but until that campaign goes through, here’s what we can do from the demand-side. When ordering To-Go’s, ask the server to skip the plasticware, napkins, condiments and menus.
I don’t know if this discredits me, but in the name of full disclosure, I can’t resist the complementary coffee. I get the feeling that bringing your own mug from home would earn a judging eye or two.
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