By Holly Hummel, RA Treasurer
You may have thought that the answer to the single use plastics issue is to just use compostable utensils or compostable plates, etcetera. It may come as a surprise to find out that compostables are not the answer to the problem.
When the City Council passed Ordinance 189271 in December prohibiting restauranteurs from offering straws, condiments, and plastic utensils except upon request, it specifically found the following:
“City of Portland compost programs are not a viable solution. Single-use compostable or biodegradable plastic serviceware items are a major cause of contamination in Portland’s current composting program. These items create quality issues for compost facility operators and ultimately jeopardize their business through contaminated feedstocks of material.
In addition, COMPOSTABLE AND BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS DO NOT DEGRADE IN MARINE ENVIRONMENTS. “
Well, this is certainly food for thought and points us back to the essential answer which is to just say NO to single use containers and utensils whether they are plastic or compostable. They still get thrown “AWAY” and away is not a good solution. Bringing your own cup, your own TO GO container and even your own utensils just takes a bit of commitment. Join Recycling Advocates in pledging now to Bring Your Own Cup.