If you have dined-in at a fast food restaurant at some point in your life, you have likely noticed that everything you order comes individually wrapped up and placed on your tray just the same way as it would if it was ordered at the drive through. By this I mean, your burger/chicken sandwich is in a paper wrap or cardboard box, your fries are in a cardboard caddy, your nuggets are in paper or cardboard, your cookie is even in a tissue. And if you are like me, the first thing you do is open up the sandwich, unfurl its wrapper, dump the fries/nuggets on to join the sandwich, and start your meal.
The proposal is simple: Have an OPTION at fastfood joints to request Eco Wrapping for Dine-in customers where the food is minimally packaged. For instance, 1 sheet can be placed on the tray, the burger, fries, and chicken, cookie, whatever, can be placed directly on that, and you will immediately start to reduce waste.
*Despite the graphics, the initial proposal is not to adopt glassware or silverware for dine-in customers, but at the initial onset, to at least reduce all the little cardboard and paper containers that food comes in.
The Eco Wrap code word: It would be ideal if each restaurant could adopt a universal code word so customers could speak one simple phrase and not have to explain the concept in detail. Restaurants that adopt the concept would inform their employees on what the code word means and Eco Wrapping could flourish. My proposed code word is: Eco Wrap, but it could be something else.
How to push the concept:
- Test it out next time you are at a fast food joint dining in. You will have to explain it to the cashier, but at least you’ll be reducing waste.
- Write McDonald’s
- Write Wendy’s
Call or text Wendy’s: 888-624-8140 – I texted, worked well
email Wendy’s: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write Burger King
- Join the Facebook Group
If enough people express an interest in this idea, we are likely to get some traction with some of these industry giants. And once they consider the savings by reducing the amount of one-time-use materials they need, they might even start to promote the idea to accelerate its usage.
Items like Drinks, Soups, Chili, etc would likely remain in their disposable food carriers. For this concept to catch on, it has to be easy and possibly beneficial to the restaurants. So having disposable containers for the drive through and reusable containers might be ideal, but would require a lot more dish washing which fast food restaurants are geared to avoid.
Salads are unfortunate. They most often come in a plastic bowl with a lid that is tossed at the end. There is no proposal on the table at this point to change this, but it is sadly wasteful.
My recent success at Wendy’s:
I recently went to Wendy’s and thought I would try my luck at explaining the concept to the cashier. She quickly caught on and said, “oh, so green.” She informed in a few words the folks in the back and out came a tray with just the burger, fries, nuggets, and drink (4four$4) on the tissue the burger normally comes in.
As an experiment, my coworker order the same thing normally… By comparison, the “Eco Wrapping” in this case reduced the usage of 2 cardboard caddies from being used for 10 seconds and going to the trash….Success!