The days of disposable foodservice wares are coming to an end in Minneapolis. This Earth Day, April 22nd, the city of Minneapolis will be taking a step towards greener living by enacting the Environmentally Acceptable Packing Ordinance. The city ordinance, which was approved in spring of last year, forbids foodservice establishments from using single-use, disposable containers made from rigid polystyrene (plastic marked with a ‘6’ inside the recycling symbol) and expanded polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam). Once the ordinance goes into effect, restaurants will need to use more eco-friendly options, such as recyclable, reusable and compostable packaging. Certain disposable foodservice items will not be included in the ban at this time, including utensils, straws and lids for hot cups. Health inspectors will be required to verify that foodservice businesses are, in fact, using acceptable packaging, and those who do not comply may be issued a warning or citation. The graphic below illustrates some forms of acceptable and unacceptable packaging options.
This ordinance is far from the first of its kind. Over 100 other cities across the country have enacted similar regulations. Part of the reasoning behind it is that the foam containers are fairly inefficient to recycle and therefore, Minneapolis does not. Relatively few cities across the nation do. The inefficiency comes from the fact that the majority of the content of the foam containers is actually just air, with only about 5% of the container being recyclable plastic. There is equipment that can be purchased to condense the material; however, it is quite expensive. Additionally, these containers are most easily recycled when they are clean and free of residue, which is very challenging when using a single-sort system.
This ordinance also brings about a great opportunity for you to encourage your customers to bring their own reusable cup! Many cafés offer discounts to customers who bring their own cup to reduce waste and save on the cost of supplies. Your customers will love the discount they get and appreciate the efforts that you are making to be environmentally friendly! UP Coffee Roasters is a proud purveyor of KeepCups, a reusable to-go coffee cup! They are available in glass or plastic and sizes ranging from four ounces to 16 ounces.
With these changes coming, is your business ready? Are you in need of a new vendor for eco-friendly packaging? UP Coffee Roasters has got your business covered! In addition to distributing award-winning, freshly roasted coffee, we also carry a variety of eco-friendly packaging options for your café, restaurant, gelato shop or other foodservice business! We have various options for paper hot cups, java jackets, cold cups, plates, clamshell to-go containers, compostable flatware, napkins, etc.! There is no minimum order and if you are located in St. Paul or Minneapolis, you can even receive weekly orders via our delivery van. Customers are also always welcome to stop by our warehouse, located in Northeast Minneapolis, to pick up their orders to avoid shipping costs and visit with our friendly staff. For a limited time, if you decide to switch to UP Coffee Roasters as your vendor for eco-friendly foodservice ware, we’ll throw in a free gift!