Takeout food packaging trash

What causes trash is one of the biggest questions Martin and I continue to try to answer.  The second biggest question we think about in terms of trash, or get asked about, is “what is the type of trash do we mostly see see during our runs?”

Food and drink packaging trash tends to be the largest types of trash we see on our runs. This could be beer bottles, french fry containers, coffee cups, soft drink cups, and so on.  Within this category of trash, the packaging is from restaurants — takeout.

This week when going through my normal readings which Martin and I do for Pick’n Run, I came across this article that addresses the trash caused by food packaging, and specifically takeout food packaging from restaurants (as opposed to food from grocery stores).

Takeout creates a lot of trash. It doesn’t have to
Can we deliver ourselves from packaging waste?
by Andy Murdock, Jan 3rd, 2018 on Vox

Eating out is decreasing in the USA in some demographics (for example: here and here), however, in other demographics, more and more people are eating out.  However, less and less people are cooking at home.  What data is showing in the USA in many urban areas is that people are ordering in — take out.

For example, Ubereats delivers to them. For food to be delivered, it is packaged (where as in the restaurants it wouldn’t have to be). This is creating an additional amount of trash that we haven’t seen in the past.  An interesting trend — a trend that we are monitoring per our documentation of trash at Pick’n Run.

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