Through a few simple changes in the way we handle food service in our prisons, we can make a very large centrally-controlled segment much greener and actually save money in its own operations. As a food service professional, when I look at various segments of our society and try to figure out ways to make it greener, you are naturally drawn to large sectors like: schools, the workplace and restaurants. One of the biggest segments, and one that is overlooked for a whole host of reasons, is the prison system.
Some of my data is a few years old, so I will only use it as a guideline, but there are about 200,000 prisoners in California state prisons. I live in California, so I will use that as an example, but this information applies to any state in the country. Since each of those prisoners eats three meals a day, in addition to prison staff, that translates into at least 700,000 meals per day.
Over the course of the year, that is roughly 255 million metal/plastic trays that need to be washed, or paper trays that need to be thrown away at a local landfill. That number also applies to cutlery and cups. So what if that tableware was made of compostable material, like sugar cane or bamboo, and it was composted instead of being placed in a landfill?
We would see substantial savings in the amount of water and electricity that is being used to wash these items. If they are being disposed of in landfills, we would save a considerable amount of space and put off the time when we would need to find more space for that particular dump, and the ultimate benefit might be that by composting these food service items, we would generate a tremendous amount of fertilizer that could be used within the prison system, or in nearby communities for farming or community garden usage.
By sourcing biodegradable plate
s that are compostable, along with biodegradable cutlery, we can eliminate all of the water used to clean these items, as well as the electricity or gas expense involved in heating the water, we can save considerable landfill space and delay the time when we will need to find new locations for that waste and we can begin composting our waste in the prison system and elsewhere on a larger scale so that we can supply local communities with a much needed commodity (fertilizer) and improve the quality of life for the residents of our state and any other state in the union that tries to follow this example. Seems like something that we can begin to phase in, and make some real headway in the amount of trash we generate in our prisons fairly quickly.
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The compostable tableware biodegradable products has significantly numerous benefits over other biodegradable tableware systems, which makes it first choice for compostable tableware.
So, what's a manufacturer to do? Familiarize ourselves with producing biodegradable products in various technologies.
Obviously, financial return is important in manufacturing biodegradable products, but I think that's not enough. I think many customers want to support something they really believe in.