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If you’ve used our plastic waste calculator to see how much waste you create from takeout and delivery lunches, you’re well on your way to making a positive change! If you haven’t, go ahead and try it now. We’ll wait.
Whether you order lunch for takeout or delivery, to the office or while working from home, lunch plays a major role in our consumption of single-use plastic.
There are two great ways to cut back on the amount of plastic you’re directing to landfills or to the ocean, where the equivalent of a garbage truck per minute of plastic ends up.
The best action is to refuse plastic, in other words, to not use it at all. The second action is to reuse it, thereby keeping it out of the environment, at least for a time. What about putting it in the recycle bin? Recycling should be a last resort, as there are numerous problems with recycling as a standalone solution to plastic pollution. According to the EPA, every piece of plastic ever produced still exists. That means, to make a difference, we have to simply use less plastic.
Super simple ways anyone can use less plastic
The next time you order lunch, refuse all single-use utensils and other unnecessary plastic items.
Keep reusable utensils, along with dish soap, at the office.
Stock up on condiments and use the large containers rather than individual packets.
Support restaurants that are already conscious of the problem and make it easy to reduce your plastic footprint. (For example, some let you opt out of utensils when you use their online ordering system. Some use paper-based packaging or straws.)
Buy beverages that come in aluminum cans (which are potentially infinitely recyclable) vs. plastic bottles (which are harder to recycle and typically can only be recycled one time).
Support restaurants that use paper bags or let you bring your reusable bag when you pick up your order.
Reuse any plastic items you can, such as carrier bags or plastic water bottles.
Learn what can and cannot be recycled in your area, and do your best to make it happen.
Want to make reducing plastic from your lunches a company-wide initiative or team-building activity? Get your whole team to use the plastic calculator, and add up how much you all use. Then, set goals for how much you will reduce your waste as a team!
Humans produce 380 million tons of plastic per year
Half of that plastic is single-use
10 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean annually