Friday, January 4, 2019

Friday Feature: Saving Some Clams

I eat out way more than I should, and, as a result, takeout containers are a staple in my refrigerator. I'm always appreciative of eco-friendly containers. I cringe when I ask for a container for my leftovers and am handed some polystyrene clam shell contraption which leaves me the option of either wasting perfectly good food or contributing to the ongoing damage to our environment.

Consequently, I was excited to read that New York City is banning these containers.

From my perspective, Manhattan is a nice place to visit, but I don't want to live there, so while this change will have little impact on me personally, it's nevertheless a big consideration. I'm concerned by the fact that many of those with the power to protect our planet are pretty blasé about doing so; some are blatantly unconcerned about the ramifications of business as usual and others even want to turn back time when it comes to protecting our environment. So, when I see a story with a happy ending for Planet Earth, it want to applaud -- and share it.

Like the containers themselves, this issue has two sides. Polystyrene containers are cheap and they do a good job of keeping food and beverages at a desirable temperature. On the other side of the clamshell are, well, the clams and their fellow inhabitants of the ocean. These containers can't be easily recycled, so they pose a danger to sea creatures who ingest them and, potentially, to the humans who go on to eat these sea creatures.

New York City had to fight to make this proposed ban a reality, but fight they did. Establishments have until June 30 to use up their stock of polystyrene and some exceptions will be made for containers that bring food into the city.

I'm not naive enough to think that the already high prices in New York won't go up as a result of this change, but personally, I think the change is a good one. To me, saving money at the expense of our planet seems penny wise and pound foolish and I can only hope that similar changes are coming soon to a restaurant near me.

Would I be willing to pay a little more for my food if the establishment adopted an eco-friendly policy? I would.

And I do.

Would you?

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