What are Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Styrofoam Take Out Containers?eco friendly compostable bowl with salad in it

What are Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Styrofoam Take Out Containers?

Almost 270,000 tons of plastic waste in the ocean can be tied back to takeout orders. Plastic foam accounts for an additional 14 million tons of waste.

Disposable take out containers are one of the leading causes that negatively impact the environment. Take-out food has become more popular since the pandemic as more people are turning towards placing to-go and delivery orders to eat at home.

But just how detrimental are these take out containers for the environment? Luckily, there are alternative containers out there that can help you reduce damage to the ecosystem and environment.

If you have an interest in learning more about eco-friendly containers, then keep reading on.

Styrofoam Take Out Containers

Styrofoam is largely used in the food industry, but can negatively impact the environment and your health. In fact, styrofoam encompasses almost one-third of all landfills.

It takes approximately 500 to 1 million years to fully decompose. In addition to its impact on landfills, it also has deadly chemicals. Styrene is part of what composes styrofoam.

This chemical by-product is a suspected carcinogen. When it combines with nitrogen oxide, it releases an air pollutant. This pollutant can cause even more environmental and health concerns including nervous system issues.

This pollutant can transfer into foods, the air, and soil. It can cause harm to your reproductive health, negatively affect the ozone layers, and increase pollution. Additionally, creating styrofoam takes dozens of different chemicals.

The release of these chemicals will often pollute the air and water around the manufacturing plants.

Eco-Friendly Containers

Compostable and eco-friendly containers are better for your health and the environment. Just like styrofoam, they are perfect for takeout orders and some are reusable food containers.

What are some of the benefits of disposable container options that are compostable?

At its core - compostable means that something breaks down into natural elements that can benefit the environment. Many compostable items and goods have organic matter and act similarly to organic materials.

A compostable material that is quickly rising in popularity is polylactic acid (PLA). PLA can also become crystallized polylactic acid (CPLA) which tends to be stronger and tolerate higher heat than its counterpart.

PLA products are becoming the go-to options for environmentally friendly packaging. The byproducts of these containers are made from renewable materials. These products absorb less CO2 and don't produce as much greenhouse gas as standard plastic, and do not contaminate food by leaking harmful chemicals.

PLA and CPLA are compostable versions of plastic that are typically made from sugarcane or corn products. Bagasse is also a byproduct of sugarcane that is used to make compostable containers, often called Molded Fiber.


How Are They Made?

Compostable food containers go through a simple process using sugarcane. First, you have to harvest sugarcane fields. Then, you create bagasse by removing the juice from the leftover sugarcane plant stalk.

Bagasse mulch undergoes extreme heat and pressure. This process allows manufacturers the opportunity of creating various shapes and products - such as take out containers and bowls.

These products take a maximum of six months to decompose in commercial composting facilities. These products, also known as Molded Fiber can tolerate higher temperatures than paper or plastic which makes it a more durable container option.

Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming and have negative health implications. It also creates greater risks for various ecosystems around the globe. There has been some research on sugarcane and its benefits to the environment. Sugarcane can cut down on Carbon Dioxide Emissions compared to paper or plastic. Some sources say that these emissions are cut by over five percent. This makes bagasse - the byproduct of sugarcane - a sustainable option for food industries and home use.

Folded Takeout Boxes and Paper Soup Containers

Paperboard with PE coating is a recyclable eco-option. These are commonly seen with folded takeout boxes. In addition to its recycling benefit, paperboard boxes come from organic materials.

They also give you the benefit of thicker food storage options compared to paper. Finally, they are safe in the microwave for up to two minutes.

A folded box is a great option for entrees or larger meals. They can handle hot or cold items. Paper soup containers have the same materials seen in folded boxes.

They are constructed slightly differently. A paper soup takeout container is great for soups, ice cream, pasta, and more.

Hinged Containers

One of the more commonly seen takeout containers is hinged. These are found in your standard takeout options. Mineral filled polypropylene are a newly popular hinged container made with 40% minerals. These containers are fully recyclable, freezer safe and microwave safe.

Molded Fiber Hinged-lid Containers are made of bagasse and are heat resistant up to 212 degrees. It is a great option for sandwiches, full entrees, and salads.

By choosing an eco-friendly clamshell container, you can help the environment while still enjoying the benefit of an easy and lightweight to-go container.

Microwavable Containers

Microwavable container materials are BPA-free polypropylene. This makes it a more environmentally friendly option compared to standard plastics that contain Bisphenol A.

It is safe in the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer. In some areas, it is also recyclable. A BPA-free microwavable container is a great option for safely heating up your food or storing it. It also won't leach harmful chemicals into your food.

Environmentally Friendly Options

Take out containers are harmful to other people's health and the environment. Switching to eco-friendly take-out options can make a difference in the ecosystem.

You also don't have to be limited on your options. There are plenty of designs and sizes that can fit your company's needs. Check out our website that holds a wide range of take-out and dine-in options and start making a difference today.