Gene Beeco of Moon River Brewing Company reports the restaurant and brewery is now pouring into “corn plastic” to-go cups he describes as 100 percent compostable. He said, “We hope that other area restaurants will join us in our efforts, and I believe that in the future recyclable materials may become the law.” Beeco said Moon River runs through more than 52,000 cups each year.
A Plenty magazine story from earlier this month suggests that the “greening” of the restaurant industry is a growing trend that extends to national chains. In turn, the movement toward more environmentally-friendly cups, napkins, utensils and bags has spurred growth in the sustainable packaging industry, which is represented by groups such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.
Switching to greener materials can represent an increased cost for restaurants. Will customers be willing to pay more if the expense is passed on to them? How many locals will decide to patronize a particular restaurant simply because it employs sustainable products and systems?