Bon Appétit’s Waste Commitment
Just like our food choices, our selection of to-go containers and disposable serviceware has environmental impacts. At Bon Appétit we try hard to reduce the effects of the production and disposal of the containers used in our locations.
Since 2001 we’ve been beta-testing environmentally-friendly products manufactured by companies such as Earthshell, Biocorp and Natureworks. These companies have developed plates, clamshells, cups, bowls and flatware from renewable sources like corn, sugarcane, and potato starch. Product quality, appearance, availability and price have prevented large scale use thus far. However, several of our cafés across the country are currently using the polylactic acid (PLA) products from Natureworks. Many new options are being developed and we continue to test them. We also continue to ask: How are they made? What material is used? Where are they manufactured? We continue to test additional options and hope to find a viable solution for all our operations in the near future.
What happens after the products are used is crucial as well. We recycle whenever possible and compost at many locations. Our commitment to reduce waste is portrayed in the examples below:
- In Silicon Valley, America Fresh both delivers fresh, local produce to our cafés and picks up compostable material to bring back to the farms
- San Francisco has a city-wide composting plan so our team at AT&T Park can compost much of the waste generated by the ballpark
- In Portland a large corporate account collects kitchen scraps and the chef transports them once a week to the municipal composting facility
- At St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, the school has installed a composter that converts daily food waste into rich fertilizer in as little as 14-21 days.
- In San Jose, CA, Cisco sent over 2.7 million pounds of food waste to the local composting facility this year! They also divert plastics (containers, bags, films, etc.) and other food containers from the landfill.
At Bon Appétit we’re open to trying new things and are always looking for ways to decrease our environmental footprint. Our people are committed to research and experimentation. We are confident that will lead to innovative ways to further reduce, reuse and recycle.