Compostable Packaging for the Win
This week, we want to talk about a subject near to our hearts: reducing waste. The fact is, when you’re selling quick-service food, it’s a topic that’s hard to avoid. Those one-use bowls, cups and forks can add up fast. Before we even opened our first restaurant, we knew we wanted to take a stand on this issue. Unlike most fast food chains, we serve our in-house meals in reusable bowls – made of bamboo, a sustainable and environmentally friendly material. But we wanted to take it one step further: at Mad Radish, we’ve committed to using 100% compostable materials in ALL of our packaging. Bowls? Yep. Cups? Yep. Cutlery? Of course! And the list goes on, from bread bags to napkins – right down to the stickers on our bowl lids. Sure, it costs more…but you can’t put a price on our beautiful planet.
We send all of our food and packaging waste to a nearby composting facility, and they turn it into high-quality soil. Since we started out, we’ve diverted 50 metric tons of waste from the landfill. Just for reference, that’s about seven elephants! Want to do your part? If you brought some Mad Radish packaging home, you can put it in your compost heap, too.
It’s not plastic. It’s compostable.
Our takeout salad bowls and cutlery are made from compostable, renewable, plant-based resins known as PLA. During production, these plastics are completely non-toxic, and when they’re processed at a composting facility, they decompose into carbon dioxide, water and biomass (AKA plant food!). And regular plastic? It’s not compostable or renewable, it’s hazardous and toxic during production, and it creates a lot of pollution. Plus, since China no longer accepts it for recycling, cities are becoming overwhelmed with plastic waste. There’s just no comparison.
Still not convinced? Get this. PLA plastics are also twice as energy efficient to manufacture as regular plastic. For every 625 pieces of PLA cutlery used (that’s just 12 people per week for a year), you can:
- Prevent 32 pounds of CO2 emissions from going into the atmosphere – about what 4 or 5 trees would absorb
- Save about 143 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s enough to power a house for almost 5 days!
Our warm bowls come in packaging made from wheat straw, a gluten-free, non-allergenic material produced from agricultural waste. Wheat straw is sturdy and strong, microwave and freezer safe, and best of all…100% compostable. And compared to paper or Styrofoam containers, it’s a total environmental win. Paper uses over 3 times more wood than wheat straw – and way more toxic chemicals. Wheat straw manufacturing uses three times less energy than making Styrofoam, and ten times less energy than wood mills for paper.
As you can see, this is something we’re pretty passionate about. And as we continue to grow and learn, we hope to do more and more to protect to this frankly awesome planet. Want to help reduce plastic waste? Here are some every day changes you can make to help out.
- Skip disposable coffee cups and use a travel mug instead
- Say no to plastic straws
- Never buy bottled water
- Bring reusable tote bags when you go shopping
- Reuse plastic tubs from takeout or food items to store dry goods or leftovers
- Buy dish soap and laundry detergent in cardboard boxes, not plastic bottles
- Avoid using plastic wrap whenever possible. We love this reusable beeswax alternative!
If you ever have questions about our packaging, or any of our other sourcing, we want to hear from you! Just write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.