One way we’re tackling carbon in San Francisco is through our waste reduction efforts. Why? Because, globally, waste generation is increasing faster than any other environmental pollutant. In the U.S., Americans produce close to five pounds of waste per person per day. When that waste is disposed in landfills or incinerators, serious greenhouse gases are emitted. Cardboard, food scraps, soiled paper, and yard trimmings decomposing in landfills emit methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 80 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat. … [Read more...] about How San Francisco turned its waste problem into a climate solution
Is this stuff even safe? The molded fiber bowls used by restaurants like Sweetgreen are compostable—but right now, they also contain chemicals called PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), the same cancer-linked compounds used in some nonstick cookware. If a carton made with PFAS is composted, the PFAS will end up in the compost, and then could end up in food grown with that compost; the chemicals could also potentially transfer to food in a takeout container as you’re eating. The chemicals are added to the mix as the bowls are made in order to make them resistant to grease and moisture so that the fiber doesn’t get soggy. In 2017, the Biodegradable Products Institute, which tests and certifies packaging for compostability, announced that it would stop certifying packaging that intentionally added the chemical or had a concentration over a low level; any currently certified packaging would have to phase out PFAS use by this year. San Francisco has … [Read more...] about Will compostable packaging ever be able to solve our waste problem?