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Takeout Food Creates a Lot of Trash, But It Doesn't Have To

Eating takeout is easy, convenient, and mostly delicious, but creates a lot of waste because each order comes with food packaging that isn’t always recyclable. Even though this packaging seems harmless, in the United States alone, packaging makes up the largest category of municipal waste. Single-use takeout items make up another 10% of the U.S. discards, which has a significant impact on climate change.

In the United States, 29% of the greenhouse gas emissions come from how we make, consume, and dispose of things. A lot of energy and resources are used to produce plastic containers, especially single-use items, which mostly end up in landfills. For this reason, experts emphasize the importance of waste minimization, by prioritizing “reduce” and “reuse”. Companies create most of this waste because they essentially hand out trash to consumers by over packaging takeout orders with unnecessary plastic. Some delivery services are now offering customers the option to say not to napkins and plasticware, which helps both the environment and the restaurants. This waste isn’t just limited to food containers, because every minute people buy one million plastic bottles, so experts suggest reusing bottles and containers to save millions of plastic bottles and containers each year.

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