Time for Fast Food Companies to Confront Water Pollution: Guardian
Years ago in Indonesia I needed a break from the heat so I entered a local fast food restaurant to get a gasp of air-con and look at my map. I did a double-take because while clearly this was a place where you could get everything from gado-gado to fried chicken to go, everyone who ate “for here” had their food served on cafeteria-like plates, ate with flatware, and drank out of cafeteria glasses. And why not? If you are eating at the restaurant, why do you need to be served your food on Styrofoam, plastic and paper if you’re not leaving until you are finished? Even too-cool-for-school San Francisco has a huge trash problem. Earlier this summer Clean Water Action combed the city and the surrounding region. Where did most of the trash come from? Fast food restaurants. All those straws, lids, and single-use food containers are mucking up local water and leaving an unsightly mess, too. In my latest article on Guardian Sustainable Business, I urge fast food restaurants to rethink their approach to serving food and believe they can do better. And, they can save money. But it will take a huge creative burst and educating customers, too. Nevertheless, there is opportunity for companies to rethink their business models, turn them upside their head, and lead on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) front. Whole Foods in Chicago and other cities offer plates if you eat there after splurging at their salad and hot food bars. Starbucks and other coffee shop chains offer ceramic cups--IF you ask for one. But as you can see, nothing is perfect. Before I could say anything, I got the world’s smallest scone in an outsized paper bag. Read the full article and scope out the Guardian’s Waste and Recycling Hub, too. By the way, Happy First Birthday to Guardian Sustainable Business. As Patsy and Eddie would say, well done!