Reduce take-out plastic?

We've been getting take-out food a couple of times a week since shut-down, and the amount of plastic waste is appalling.  A lot of it is polystyrene (#5) or other unrecyclable waste.  (Plastics #1 and #2 are somewhat recyclable, but still not great.)  We're usually able to avoid getting plastic flatware, but we've been stuck with the containers.  We'd love it if the good folks in the BPN community can let us know what their favorite low-plastic take-out restaurants are.  Thanks!

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RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

La Mediterranee, Rick and Ann's, Gaumenkitzel, all in Berkeley.

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

I agree this is a worrying concern.  Thanks for doing what you can to take action on it!

I recommend Doña on Piedmont Ave in Oakland.  All their packaging is compostable, including cups and lids and knifes and forks.  The best part is that you can eat there on their patio or their roof deck, and it's almost like eating out at a restaurant in the good old days.  (The only thing you can't compost is the foil that the tacos are wrapped in, but you can wash that and reuse it or recycle it.)

I also just got tacos from Comal Next Door.  They have a location in Berkeley on Shattuck (next to Comal) and a new location in Oakland on Grand (where Zza's used to be).  Tacos came in a compostable paper container.  Guacamole side came in a compostable paper cup with a plastic lid.  Salsas came in plastic containers.  

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Three stone hearth, zero waste and yum!

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

This doesn't answer your question directly, but I have tried taking our tupperware to the restaurant for them to fill.  The restaurants I've tried haven't complained about it.

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

I hear you on this. There's the Jybe app (https://www.gojybe.com/), which rates restaurants based on eco-friendly packaging. It's pretty neat - people rate and upload photos of packaging, and you can also browse by restaurants rated for eco-friendly takeout materials. I've only posted to it once, so I'm glad your post reminded me about it.

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Kate, do you mean Parker St. in Berkeley? If so, we rely on Comal's very good Mexican food downtown, which uses compostable and recyclable packaging. I believe Longbranch on San Pablo near Dwight does as well, and Cafenated (Vine near Shattuck), although I'm not sure whether they deliver. There's also Mise en Place Kitchen just west of the main library.

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Just curious where the restaurants you order from are. In Hayward, where I live, restaurants are required to use comparable containers. I am on a personal crusade against polystyrene, so will happily reach out to your city council on the Earth’s behalf ;) My students were able to eliminate it in all Hayward Unified public schools by lobbying the school board because they had health and environmental concerns. That’s how I learned more about it. 

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Gaumenkitzel on San Pablo near University in Berkeley is great! Take out containers are compostable, and they provide several items (especially food to reheat later) in mason jars with a small deposit. We’ve been very happy with them.

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Proposition Chicken on Lakeshore uses compostable containers. Their sandwiches and salads are delicious!

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

I love Hawking Bird on Telegraph in Oakland not only for their great food, but for also being environmentally conscious.  They pack everything in compostable containers with a paper bag.  Pre-pandemic, what little trash remained from eating indoors was separated.  I wish more restaurants did this.

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Pizza is generally a good bet.  I also like Flying Falafel in downtown Berkeley. Most containers are not plastic and they use paper bags. 

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Sweetgreen is one of my favorites, and all of their packaging is compostable: https://order.sweetgreen.com/berkeley/menu

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Thank you for caring.  I am so upset over all the plastic being used now as a result of COVID; it's as if the clock has been turned back.  I infrequently order take out now because the food is not as good both because of the delay in serving sitting in plastic until delivered.  I really appreciate it when restaurants do use compostable materials.

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

There are a lot of restaurants that are very conscientious about packaging, and were before Covid too.  Most fast food comes in paper wrappers/boxes - burgers, pizza, tacos, burritos - even the chains!  Chinese restaurants use paper containers for the most part.  We like King Yen in Berkeley. Here are some more we've enjoyed: Ramen Shop in Oakland puts everything including the broth into cardboard containers and it is sooo good. Krispy Rice in Oakland has cute cardboard bento boxes.  Greenleaf Provisions puts their heat-and-serve items (Phil's Sliders!!) in aluminum foil pans which can be recycled. They deliver cocktails in [reusable] glass mason jars!  Gregoire's comes in cardboard clamshells. Revival, Belotti, and Rick & Ann's have good packaging. So there are a few ideas. Support our local restaurants and happy eating!

RE: Reduce take-out plastic? ()

Original poster here-

Thanks for all the great suggestions!  I just downloaded the Jybe app.

We are in Berkeley, and i know that we have laws about packaging, but somehow the plastic still arrives from local restaurants.  We sometimes get takeout from surrounding cities (Emeryville, Oakland, Albany), and at the moment the worst of the plastic providers is in Emeryville --and it's my kid's second-favorite restaurant.

Compostable plastics are not so far a great solution, though I'll take it over polystyrene.  My husband is a waste-management consultant, and tells me that industrial composting facilities really dislike the compostable plastics.  (Great article at www.eater.com/2020/1/15/21065446/compostable-take-out-containers.)  And since they require heat to break down, bioplastics in the ocean act the same as petroleum plastics.  The very qualities that make plastic so functional (waterproof, unreactive, don't break down) are a big part of what makes it problematic.