The first step in our transition to zero waste was switching to all compostable products. This felt like the only natural way to move forward because at the time, some of our products were recyclable, some were trash, and some were compostable. With such a wide variety of options, it made it time consuming and confusing for customers to figure out which bin their waste went into. Cold cups went into the compost, lids were recycled, straws needed to go into the trash, hot cups could maybe be recycled but if they still had coffee they needed to go in the trash... it was a mess for both customers and baristas.
We thought why not look into what it would be like to get all compostable products? That way, when a customer gets food or drink form us, there’s no sorting required. It all just gets dropped in the compost, regardless of any leftover food or drink left in the container. The products might be more expensive, but if we could straighten out our waste sorting, we could still probably break even.
As it turned out, paper product distributor in Kent, P&R Paper was able to offer everything we needed. Not only did P&R offer compostable versions of everything we needed at affordable prices, but they also don’t charge small businesses an extra fee for small orders as most distributors do.
So what’s so glamorous about switching paper distributors?
- With no extra fee, we were able to switch to all compostable products and save money!
- By getting all of our products from a single, local distributor, we also reduced the carbon footprint associated with shipping our paper products!
- With all-compostable products, waste sorting became immensely easier for customers,
- With better waste sorting, we save $475/yr on city-wide garbage collection costs!