Reduce the use of plastics at Ruston restaurants

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Plastic has become a major problem for the environment over the past 50 years, because only 9% of it is recycled in the United States.  Plastic takes over 400 years to decompose in landfills. It ends up as litter and harms wildlife and birds, causing painful deaths. Much of it makes its way into rivers, streams, and the ocean, harming or killing fish and marine animals when they ingest it. Humans then eat those fish, which exposes us to toxins. Eight million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean EACH YEAR. That is the equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash for every foot of coastline around the globe!

There are three ways in which restaurant owners can help reduce the use of plastic:
1.    Stop automatically taking straws to the table. Instead, let your customer request a straw. Switch from plastic to “compostable straws” that are made from corn rather than petroleum and will quickly biodegrade.
2.    Move away from placing takeout orders in plastic bags. Encourage your customers to bring their own re-usable bag for takeout. You can explain that you are doing this at the request of the public and are trying to do your part to reduce plastic waste.
3.    The big switchover: Use only biodegradable disposables. These are made from sugarcane, bamboo, and wheat straw. Companies like ECO-PRODUCTS (see next page) sell cups and lids, to-go boxes, bowls, plates and utensils.