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Minneapolis, The Latest City to Adopt New Industrial Packing Law

You may not think of plastic foam containers as industrial packaging, but they are, and they're one of the least eco-friendly options for containers. On Earth Day 2015, Minneapolis became the latest city to ban plastic foam takeout containers, as well as any other type of container that isn't recyclable, compostable and/or reusable. The law applies to any eatery that offers takeout, including food trucks and grocery store delis. It's going to be an adaptation struggle for some, which is why Minnesota lawmakers have given businesses until 2017 to completely ditch plates and bowls lined with plastic.

To minimize waste, businesses are allowed to use their remaining non-green takeout containers. However, it's not just businesses that will need to adjust. Consumers also have new best practices to start, such as completely cleaning food scraps from recyclable bowls before composting or recycling them. Any containers with food on them must be treated as trash, which makes the green efforts moot. If you see someone in Minneapolis not following protocol, call 311 to complain. The city has put together $50,000 in grants for businesses to optimize their green programs, and residents are hopeful that the policy change will mean a more eco-friendly Minneapolis.The Takeout Times reviews

Following the Trends

Minneapolis is far from the first city to adopt such rules. Over 70 U.S. cities have similar programs and laws - and some are much stricter than others. These cities include Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C; San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington, to name just a few. Banning plastic foam is standard across the board, but in some cities eateries are not allowed to offer plastic bags, either. Consumers can bring their own bags or pay a small fee for a recyclable paper bag.

The popularity of food trucks and a foodie nation means people are paying more attention to what they're putting in their bellies, but it can come at a price to the environment. All of those gastro pub takeout dinners and lunches at the nearby food carts add up. Throw in plastic utensils and unnecessary small packs of condiments, and suddenly that quick, cheap lunch packs a mean punch to the environment.

Remember the Three R's

Reduce, reuse, recycle is still a great mantra that should be applied to takeout containers. Particularly green-minded foodies can do their part by packing their own lunches (which saves the cost of eating out) or may be able to work out a deal with local eateries so they bring in their own containers to re-use. Plastic jars, universal glass jars and even mason jars a la Pinterest (think mason jar salads) are all great choices for a healthy, sustainable packed lunch.

Dumping food-laden takeout containers that feature foam might be convenient, but that out of sight/out of mind mentality is a killer to the environment. You take care of your body by choosing nutritious foods, so don't forget the health of the planet while you're at it. Whether you're a consumer who loves gastro pubs or a business with eco-friendly leanings, every little bit helps. Remember that there's more than one way to enjoy a green lunch, so use and re-use that industrial packaging to transport your meals.

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