Green Garbage


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Gott Gourmet, reviewed in this week's issue, is one of a growing number of casual local cafes and coffee shops to use biodegradable food and drink containers. Here's how Gott Gourmet explains it:

"Say goodbye to the Styrofoam you have grown up using. We are proud to offer disposable products that will keep our earth smiling. Our compostable cups, lids and straws are made from a renewable source: US grown Corn!  Want some soup to go? We send you home with it in a container made of both corn and paper. And best of all: Our biodegradable food containers, derived from sugarcane fibers, are stronger than Styrofoam and are better for the environment."

It seems like a worthy effort and noble step. But the question I'm always left with is what to do with these containers afterward. Should I bury them in the compost pile I don't yet have, or save them up for someone who does actively compost?

My feeling is most of these containers join their more conventional, plastic brethren in the trash can. If they end up in a landfill, does it make any difference that they are biodegradable, or is it just garbage unless it is composted?

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