A little while back I was sharing a beer with my friend Charlie from Degree 18 Juice Bar and he shared with me about a company here in Puerto Rico called Caribe Compostables where he buys his compostable serving containers. He shared why it was important for him to invest in this type of product and everything he said made a lot of sense to me. Today we are following his example by only using compostable items on all the products that need packaging. As you can see it's important for us as well.
There is a big difference between compostable items and recyclables. When we talk about compostables, we are referring to products that can safely be used to serve food or drinks and will decompose in a pile of compost.
Recyclable products can work well if your city has a comprehensive recycling program. Unfortunately in Puerto Rico there are few viable options readily available to the average citizen and therefore recyclables tend to not be the best option.
Compostable products can be taken care of by the consumer right away at their own home or by the establishment in which the product used. This is an advantage that we hadn't had before and represents a way for us to be part of the overall solution by minimizing the amount of plastic pollution taking over the beaches and water ways around the world. How can we go wrong with this?
The compostable products industry is young and it's growing. 2018 saw a 78% increase in the demand for compostable products in the USA alone. More conscientious business owners are opting for compostable products and their choice to do so is an investment in this industry which continues to develop better products each year.
Our customer base for buying produce, vegan food, and for attending our seminars is at our local farmers market. It's not difficult to find a local shopper who arrives with their own reusable tote bag to buy their produce. Often times when we sell these folks our produce and offer to give them a bag for their purchase they decline thinking that our bags are made out of plastic. Once we share with them that everything we use for packaging is compostable they accept the bag or container with a smile.
The cost of compostable products is still really high. It's high enough to where some merchants choose not to use them. For example, our salad mix containers cost approximately 50 cents each and at $4 per salad that is 12.5% of the sale. A compostable 2.5 gallon bag cost us 17 cents each where as the plastic bags of the same size sell for 3 cents each. For us, the investment in compostable products will always have us side with our love for the earth.
The compostable industry will continue to grow. Better products will come to market at a faster pace. As more merchants adopt compostables, prices will become more affordable. Until then we rest easy knowing that our customers are getting their freshly picked local produce in a container that is compostable and is part of a long term investment in the well being of our planet.
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