We live in a disposable society. It seems every day there's yet another disposable item. Have you noticed that we have disposable gloves, diapers, cameras, contact lenses, cell phones, and slippers? In the hotel industry there are options of disposable coffee cups, napkins, to-go containers, and plates -- for starters. We'd like to see the hospitality industry in general, and the hotel industry specifically, be "disposable free". Not only do you save on hauling fees when you don't dispose of as many items, but you also make a statement about your quality when you provide durable serving items. Coffee from a porcelain mug is much better than from a disposable coffee cup. Steak from china or stoneware is more appealing than from a paper plate. Drinking water from a glass is more satisfying than drinking from a paper or Styrofoam cup. Comfort is a main purpose of the hospitality industry, and providing durable goods makes your hotel more appealing to guests.
When you have to use disposable goods, items that can be composted are better than those that can only be thrown away. The addition of a compost bin allows for food scraps and compostable disposable items to be recycled into loam for gardening. There are more and more disposable items available that are made of compostable materials, including bagasse, a sugar cane processing by-product; plastics made of corn; bamboo; and recycled paper. Here at EnvironmentallyFriendlyHotels.com, we've seen and used bagasse products and were impressed by their looks and durability.
We very much like the concept of corn plastic, and have had clients ask "How is plastic made from corn?”, but we have one main reservation: recycling corn plastic products is not as main-stream as recycling standard plastics, and the two plastics can't be combined in the recycling process. We feel that when corn plastic recycling is easier and more prevalent, that then the use of corn plastic will be a good option, too.