From food containers to....

Recently I have noticed that more and more restaurants use very durable disposable containers(microwavable PP containers) for take outs. The size is ideal and I have been using them for my lunch box, or even use them as regular utensils.

As compared to those flimsy clear ones, I definitely prefer this. However, what happens when you start to have more containers than you need? Recycle is one way, but IMO it’s quite a waste of energy to produce something for only one-time use, let alone the waste that has been created along the way.

When I was in S.E.Asia, they use banana leaves or recycled wax paper for certain kinds of food, mostly rice dishes, for take outs.

A few years ago, I saw a news on some dude from Taiwan invented chewable disposable plates. Basically, these bowls and plates are made from harvested crop husks and binded with some kind of edible resin(starch?). After use, the restaurant can just throw everything in the food waste bin and fed to the pigs. It’s an excellent solution that literally illustrates the concept of waste = food. However, I’ve never heard anything about that since then.

So here are two approaches to sustainable designs. One is to create a “burden free” product. The other is to create something that is durable for usage, therefore won’t be treated as waste as easily.

Then I was reading Cradle to Cradle(3/4 through). It talked about fundamental changes from the design phase. However, I believe that most of us(designers) are capable of creating sustainable designs. We just need to get the opportunity to do it, ie. project owners should be asking for sustainable designs but most aren’t.

So again, the issue isn’t about the product or technology, it’s what we demand and supply. Maybe this is a stupid question to ask, but, if being environmentally conscious benefits a business as mentioned in the book, why isn’t such mentality being promoted as effectively as it should?

One thing is lots of people are germaphobe, look at all the wipes, liquids and other crap thats sold to be “clean”. If you ask any number of people about recycled stuff you will get about 30$ that freak because they are “dirty”.

I’d be more worried about the solvent residues on plastic plates than germs that may be lurking around. My immune system may fight the germs but my liver certainly cannot handle the chemicals.

Hey your preaching to the band leader, but facts are facts lots of folk out there that just drink anybodys “coolaid” no matter how illogical.

p.s liver regenerates pretty fast .

Band leader? Sounds fancy. How about being the son of a person who suffers from hepatitis B since his 30s due to over exposure to solvent based chemicals? Sorry if that doesn’t make my opinions any more credible.

Respect doesn’t get earned through claims.

p.s. sorry for my lack of experience but your last comment was almost too overwhelming for me to understand.

its idiomatic, means your trying to convince a person who is allready in aggrement with you. Sorry about your dad, hep b is a nasty virus and the solvent exposure likely contributed but in the end its the virus not the solvents.

Wow, I didn’t know you get Hep B from chemical exposure. That is some scary stuff.

I was going to propose that people bring their own reusable containers…I mean why not? I actually had to pitch a bunch of tupperware into the recycle bin a year ago. I just ran out of cupboard space for it all. I got 1/4 of it the same way as you describe, ie freebies from take out or with products in the store.

The reality is that a restaurant in the US wouldn’t allow this reuse. I asked for a refill of water in Starbucks once. The person told me to ditch my cup as it was store policy to use the cups only one time. What a friggin’ waste!

Just a short list of chemicals:

Toxins and drugs can cause hepatitis:

  • Amatoxin-containing mushrooms, including the Death Cap (Amanita phalloides), the Destroying Angel (Amanita ocreata), and some species of Galerina. A portion of a single mushroom can be enough to be lethal (10 mg or less of α-amanitin).
  • White phosphorus, an industrial toxin.
  • Paracetamol (acetaminophen in the United States) can cause hepatitis when taken in an overdose. The severity of liver damage can be limited by prompt administration of acetylcysteine.
  • Carbon tetrachloride (“tetra”, a dry cleaning agent), chloroform, and trichloroethylene, all chlorinated hydrocarbons, cause steatohepatitis (hepatitis with fatty liver).
  • Cylindrospermopsin, a toxin from the cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii and other cyanobacteria.

    Back then when he started working in a chemical factory, there was no protection at all. He said he used to bend over into those petrol-drums to clean them. That’s a suicide move by today’s standard. The liver isn’t invincible. Toxins that it cannot handle gets accumulated in your body. Personally, I won’t settle for anything less than a painter’s mask(against organic solvents) for all my shop work.

My dad lives normally. He just can’t touch alcohol, which is good for him anyways. He also gets tired more easily but that rarely stops him from working in the lab. The lab is his playground. He just gets paranoid and make me receive the vaccine… I think it’s every 5 years, not too sure.

The Starbuck example reminds me of another issue. In bottle recycling, items are only recognized by their bar code(in grocery stores). So why are mineral water bottles not accepted? This really pisses me off. I feel like making a fake bar code, stick it in with those water bottles and draw it away as they belt the bottles away.

So why are mineral water bottles not accepted? This really pisses me off. I feel like making a fake bar code, stick it in with those water bottles and draw it away as they belt the bottles away.

I’m not sure what you mean here. Do you mean for the bottle refund? We don’t have the refund on water bottles in Quebec either, just soda and beer. I’ve solved the problem by drinking tap water:)

I have those water pitcher with filter, but A LOT of people rely on bottled water which is beyond me. Always see my peers carry cartons and cartons of bottled water from the grocery store, like as if they are preparing for war or something.

What’s worse is that I read somewhere that a huge majority of bottled water is treated tap water (ie Dasani, Aquasomething from Pepsi).

I understand bottled water in Arizona. The tap water is really nasty there. However, the water I’ve sampled from New England was quite tasty.

This is all too scary, I may never go outside again…or drink water.