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I Can Compost / Recycle My Entire Lunch? Yes, You Can

Lunch special salmon with brussel sprouts and couscous

Between the Bread on Oct 06 2015

 The “aha” moment came to me when my girlfriend started complaining that I wasn’t recycling my food take-out containers. I realized she was right, and I started recycling the plastic food trays that I was receiving. Then I noticed all of the other little things that weren’t being recycled – plastic cutlery, straws, napkins, bottles.. all going to some unknown landfill out of sight and out of mind. Was my trash being sent out to sea? I started to become proactive in my efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.

I started casually eliminating superfluous non-recyclable things from my daily routine as much as possible; taking my own tote bags to the grocery store, reducing my use of plastic bottles, drinking water from the tap, asking food delivery services not to send cutlery, straws, and napkins, etc. I started walking and using Citibike to get around town as often as possible and using the subways on longer trips. I became more cognizant of what I was putting in the trash (we only need to empty our trash bin about once every three weeks now) and recycling everything imaginable in paper bags that we now save from any store purchases. I made sure to purchase in smaller batches at the grocery store and order less for dinner so as not to have an excess of food in the fridge and end up throwing half of it out when it inevitably goes bad, and generally waste less food.

I did all these things and I started to feel a lot better about my use of resources and my individual impact. Then I realized something both enlightening and daunting: I have a business that produces about four hundred times the amount of waste that I do and nothing I do will be truly impactful without improving things at the corporate/industrial level. Though much of the guilt is passed along to the consumer, corporations, and businesses are the leading cause of wastefulness and negative environmental impacts.

I had to make a change.

Between The Bread is now excited to announce that our eateries boast a new line of compostable, biodegradable and level-1 recyclable items that we serve all of our food and beverages in. Not only that, but we are now recycling and composting directly from our eateries. Simply drop your food container (food and all) into the composting bucket in our custom-built waste receptacle and it will be sent by our waste specialists at Royal Waste Management to McEnroe Organic Farm for topsoil creation. Take any post-consumer recycled plastic lids of the containers and drop them in the recycling bin to be further recycled into another lid!

All of our drinks are now served in fully recyclable glass bottles, and we serve juices and breakfast items in recyclable glass mason jars – and if you bring the jar back to us, you will get a $1 credit back!

Why switch to glass bottles and jars? 

The eco-cost factors of raw materials, manufacturing, and weight/transportation provide for some different pros and cons amongst glass, plastic, and aluminum. Ultimately, we just really like that glass bottles are 100% recyclable and can be endlessly recycled into other glass bottles as glass has the ability to be recycled over and over without ever losing its quality, unlike plastic.

We are excited about continuously looking into ways of reducing our company-wide environmental impact, but are even more excited about passing the information onto our consumers so that we can all start a dialogue. We hope this train of thought keeps on chugging along.

-Jon Eisen

Partner & Vice President of Business Development