Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Hardest Thing about avoiding Single Use Plastics?

Eating out. Hands down. I can control the plastic that comes into my house. Getting restaurant food without plastic is the thing I find most challenging.

For example today I met a couple of friends for lunch at Grand Central. We found a table in a public area so that one friend could eat her lunch from home (smart girl!), and the other two of us could grab something from one of the many food stalls. Working close by, I know the lay of the land and what my choices are for food served without plastic. Today's choice was Two Boots Pizza served on a paper plate. Once in line though the strombolis caught my eye, so I ordered one. When the line got closer to the register I saw someone else's stromboli delivered in a foil dish with a plastic lid. Oh no! So I asked the cashier if I could get mine on a plate, without the plastic.

You know the Visa ad where commerce (the ad calls it "Life" but REALLY? It is commerce.) is thrumming along, everyone using a Visa Debit, until someone pulls out cash and the consumer ballet comes to a screeching halt? That is what happened today at Two Boots! The cashier and two other employees behind the counter were on the case, making sure my stromboli got a plate and not a dish. Orders stopped, the line backed up. The kitchen guys were popping their heads in the window to see who cuased the ruckus. After all that I got my stromboli on a plate, served with a plastic dish of sauce, which I returned. Oy. I should have stuck to pizza.

The best thing would be to pack my lunch, but I'm lazy and don't do it very often. So past that I find restaurants and items that are "safe" to order. Even then, I know full well that the food I'm served comes with all kinds of plastic, I just don't see it when it is served to me. Preparing my own food is really the best option.

...unless the restaurant industry can get the message that we all want less plastic with our food. What kind of effort will that take?

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