We've been working with the Sedona Marathon to help them create a zero waste event in 2019. They've managed to get rid of individual water bottles with water stations. But the runners still need to grab a cup of water as they run by. Is it better to use paper cups (which may or may not be compostable) or plastic (which, if they are #5, can be recycled along with yogurt containers)? Some restaurants have been wondering, should we buy the bio-based 'plastic' forks or the 'compostable' hot beverage cups.
The answers are complicated, but this article does a nice job of providing some guidance. The main points are:
--Much of the environmental impact of a material happens before the consumer gets it, so go for higher recycled content if you are choosing between two products made of the same material.
--But recycled content isn't necessarily a good indicator if you're choosing between different materials (like #5 plastic vs glass.)
--Recyclability and compostability are not always the best guides in part because the materials may or may not actually get recycled or composted.
If you want to go deeper into the research, click here: