Featured Image Credit: waste-management-world.com
By: Kira Krall
In a partnership with Eco-Products, the National Aquarium in Baltimore is making good on its promise to phase out single-use plastics. The Boulder, Colorado-based company is supplying the Aquarium with sustainable flatware to replace the plastic-based utensils in the food court. The new food and drink vessels will be compostable and reusable or will come from a more sustainable source than petroleum.
Eco-products began as a sustainable disposables distributor in 1990. Since creating their own products in 2007, they’ve debuted a corn-based plastic material and post-consumer recycled hot cups and lids. The company also targets its business practices to make it more sustainable each year. In 2016, they decreased travel within the company to reduce air travel emissions, introduced a take-back program for some of its products, and invested in sustainability education programs for its employees.
The Aquarium hopes that introducing the compostable plates will make it easier for guests to compost, rather than having to scrape compostable leftovers off before throwing the plate into the trash can. This simple adjustment will likely decrease the amount of single-use waste the Aquarium sends off to the landfill.
Another partnership with Recycled Green Industries will allow the Aquarium’s new compostable waste to be turned into fertilizer. Nearby farms, gardens, and the park right next to the Aquarium will use the compost instead of traditional fertilizers to keep their plants healthy and green.
This program is the next step in the National Aquarium’s sustainability plan. They’ve already phased out plastic bags and disposable water bottles and replaced the single-use plastics at catering events with reusable flatware. Many aquariums across the country are phasing out single-use plastics, including these 19 major aquariums that represent 16 states. Hopefully, more facilities will follow in their footsteps!