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MDI Sustainable Food Business Pledge Program

Food businesses that pledge to implement or transition to at least 3 of the following 6 sustainable practices this season will be listed in our publicity campaign, and will be given door decals for display and digital logos to use in their marketing. 

IMPORTANT: Hit SUBMIT at the end! 

Note: In most cases, compostable bioplastics (made from organic materials like corn) can only be successfully composted in industrial composting facilities that reach high temperatures.  Many disposable to-go products end up in the environment and eventually in the ocean, where they cannot biodegrade because the temperature is not high enough.  When disposables must be used, the best current option seems to be to use materials that are truly biodegradable in the marine environment, like paperboard, cardboard, or other plant fiber (that are not lined with regular or bioplastic) when possible, and if any compostable bioplastics are disposed of in house, to have them industrially composted.  

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1. WE PLEDGE to not use Plastic Straws or Plastic Drink Stirrers. We’ll go straw and stirrer-free or make reusable or compostable straws/stirrers available to customers who want them. If straws are used for to-go orders, we’ll use paper straws. If straws are discarded in house and our business is having organic waste industrially composted, we’ll use either paper straws or compostable bioplastic straws. (Aardvark paper straws get good reviews, but they are back-ordered across the country right now because of a huge surge in demand. Reusable stainless steel or wooden/bamboo drink stirrers can be provided to customers who want stirrers. Some cafes use uncooked fettuccine as coffee/ tea stirrers and they work well.) *
2. WE PLEDGE to not use Foam (Polystyrene, Styrofoam™) to-go containers, cups, bowls, or plates. We will use to-go containers that are truly biodegradable in the marine environment - like paperboard, cardboard, or plant fiber - NOT compostable bioplastic. (Some to-go items, like sandwiches, can be wrapped in plastic-free butcher paper.) * *
3. WE PLEDGE to not use Plastic Bags for to-go orders. They can be replaced with paper bags when a bag is requested or necessary. *
4. WE PLEDGE to use reusable and washable Cups, Plates, Bowls, & Utensils whenever possible. If we need to use disposable products, whether in house or for take out, we will use plates and bowls that are truly biodegradable in the marine environment (like paperboard, cardboard or other plant fiber - NOT compostable plastic). At this time ALL paper hot cups are lined with a thin layer of regular or bioplastic and we have not found cup lids, disposable flatware, clear cold cups, and souffle cups and lids that are compostable without industrial composting. If we need to use these products, we will use Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) compostable bioplastic for both in house and take-out. We will also ask all to-go customers if they need flatware before supplying it and consider offering reusable sets for sale at the counter. *
5. WE PLEDGE to not use plastic Garbage Bags that are not certified compostable. (There are compostable bioplastic bags available, but they are expensive and need to be industrially composted. We are still researching options and hoping the price will come down as demand increases. Some businesses are finding that taking recyclables and compostables out of their waste stream makes up for the extra cost of compostable garbage bags.) *
6. WE PLEDGE to Compost food waste (or give it to farmers) and compost compostable disposables if we use them. (Bioplastic compostable disposables require industrial high-heat composting. Right now, the only services we know that pick up compost here and compost it industrially are Gott’s in Southwest Harbor for seafood waste and Agri-cycle Energy in Exeter, ME for all organic waste, including compostable disposables. Agri-cycle is offering a group discount for our group. Contact Greg Williams: greg@agricycleenergy.com) *