Last year’s Cayman Become campaign, which successfully saw local supermarkets introduce reusable cloth shopping bags as well and replacing non-biodegradable plastic bags with biodegradable alternatives, is only one of a number of actions local supermarkets and food service suppliers are taking to reduce the amount of waste ending up in the landfill.
Foster’s recently announced it was shipping about 40 bales of used cardboard boxes back to Miami each week for recycling. Each bale weighs between 600 and 1,100 pounds, all of which was previously being added to the Island’s ever-growing landfill.
“When the BECOME campaign came about we started looking at other green initiatives and this was one of them. After finding a company to take the cardboard we made the initiative become a reality,” said Ayiesha De Cocteau, marketing manager for Foster’s Food Fair IGA.
The delis in Foster’s stores have also switched from Styrofoam food containers to plant fibre based alternatives, which break down in 90 days in the landfill.
The five cents charged for each plastic bag goes toward funding these additional green initiatives, Ms De Cocteau said.
Kirk Supermarket says it also ships used cardboard off the Island and have changed its disposable food containers and cutlery to eco-friendly versions.
Island Supply, which supplies hotels, restaurants and institutions with food service and cleaning products, has been working to offer customers greener alternatives for nine years through its Green Solutions campaign, said general manager Chris Weaver. Island Supply recognises in order for consumers to make more environmentally responsible choices, they need to be given options, Mr. Weaver said.
Island Supply now has a full line of environmentally responsible, biodegradable food and beverage containers, including corn cups, disposable plates made from bamboo, sugar-based containers and bin liners made from renewable resources. They also supply bottle crushers to bars, to reduce the volume of glass going to the landfill.
Reducing the amount of chemicals being washed down drains is also a priority at Island Supply.
“We carry a complete line of environmentally responsible cleaning products that are Green Seal approved. When used in conjunction with microfibre cleaning technology we can drastically reduce the amount of water and chemicals used in the cleaning process,” Mr. Weaver said.
Dispensers that dilute cleaning products straight from the water line at the correct strength also help to prevent overuse of chemicals and cut down on unnecessary packaging, he said.
Consumers appear to be striving to make more environmentally responsible choices, he said, noting that they used to sell 150 to 200 cases of bleach each month, but orders have gone down to 50 to 60 cases per month.
Hew’s hotel and Restaurant Supplies confirmed they also supply a range of eco-friendly food containers and cleaning products, alongside the non-green versions. Marketing representative Kristen Thomson said because greener products tend to be significantly more expensive they have to still offer more economical options.