Living Zero Waste: Ordering Takeout

Posted by: Stacy Albin on April 30, 2020


Anyone else tired of cooking at home? Or maybe you want to treat yourself to a night “eating out.” Most restaurants have adapted their menus and takeout options to accommodate continued restrictions of Stay at Home orders. This week, PRC provides a few strategies you can take when ordering takeout that adhere to the zero waste philosophy.


  • Refuse the “extras.” Specify “no utensils and no napkins needed” since you will eat the food at home. Also refuse single-serving condiments.
  • Properly dispose of containers. Most takeout containers are not recyclable or compostable; they should be placed in the trash for disposal. Remember, only plastic bottles and jugs go in your recycling bin! Any plastic takeout container, its lid, and the plastic single-use utensils – even if it displays the recycling symbol on it – belongs in the trash. Paper-based takeout containers are generally lined with a thin layer of plastic and they have food particles on them, making them non-recyclable. Read more about what is and is not recyclable in curbside residential recycling programs here.
  • Buy a gift card. Consider supporting your favorite local restaurants by purchasing a gift card for future use.

As always, we encourage you to investigate other ways to prevent and minimize your waste, reuse or repurpose what you have, and recycle properly. Let us know how you’re living zero waste while ordering takeout by commenting below!


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