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April 2009
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Biodegradable Take Out Containers

Last night I met up with some friends for dinner at a great little restaurant called The Queen Mother Cafe, famous for it’s pan-global cuisine. As I ordered my meal the waitress asked how hungry I was since I had ordered quite a bit of food. I said that in the event I didn’t finish my meal that I was happy to take it home for a snack.

Of course I didn’t finish my meal. The hostess, not our waitress, came over to collect our plates. I had ordered a noodle dish in a curry sauce so it was some what soupy but I still wanted to take it home (left-overs always taste better the next day!). The hostess declared that I could not take home my meal because all they had were ‘environmentally friendly’ containers and that my meal simply would not make it home in the container. I told her that I would take my chances and would like one of these ‘environmentally friendly’ containers.

Take Away Containers can now be made from Sugar Cane

Our waitress came over and apologized for how the hostess had behaved. She then went on to explain that at the restaurant they prefer to use compostable containers. I was quite impressed with their forward thinking and decided to look into it. According to GreenToGoCanada, the packages are made from Sugarcane (Bagasse) Technology. These packages are said to be much better than their paper counterparts because they can biodegrate in as few as 45 days.

I’m hoping that other restaurants pick up on the technology. Bringing your own containers to a restaurant is best practice but not always convenient or feasible. If instead we can offset some of the waste with these types of materials our environment will be the better for it.

I ended up bringing my food home with me and sufice to say my leftovers today were delicous!


Comment from Adam
Time April 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Sasha…that’s a great find. Is there a list of take-away restaurants that use these containers? I would be happy (eager, even!) to support businesses that aren’t filling up our garbages with … their ……garbage.

Comment from sasha
Time April 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm

I don’t know of a ‘list’ that exists that names which restaurants choose to use biodegradable containers of the regular ones.
According to in their article for April 9th on Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants, many of these are now choosing the compostable containers over their counterparts.
At GreenEnterprise ( they have a short list of restaurants that are employee the use of the earth-friendly containers.
I don’t get much of a chance to get to many of these places, but hopefully in the future a restaurant guru can offer up a list on restaurants using compostable containers.