The Whole Enchilada Makes the Costly Switch to Sustainable Food Packaging | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Ethical Eating

The Whole Enchilada Makes the Costly Switch to Sustainable Food Packaging

Last week, American Public Media's Marketplace aired a story about a Harvard biomedical engineer who has developed edible food packaging, including an ice cream in a chocolate "skin" that won't melt and can be washed before eating. Advancements like these -- that would help to slow the never-ending parade of food waste and packaging that wind up in landfills -- aren't quite mainstream and haven't yet swept South Florida. But that doesn't mean local companies aren't actively seeking ways to cut down on their output of garbage.

Fort Lauderdale's the Whole Enchilada Fresh Mexican Grill has stepped into the thick of the sustainability game by switching entirely to a system of compostable dining ware, including utensils. Co-owner/founder David Cardaci said that although the switch has been "pretty expensive" -- it costs an additional $400 or more a month -- the customers love it and "it's good for the environment."

The dining ware, by Your Green 2 Go, is made of unbleached plant pulp and is completely biodegradable. Cardaci said the move significantly cuts down on the restaurant's waste as "everything that goes into the garbage is compostable at this point." The restaurant's waste is handled by a composting company near the Everglades, and Cardaci is hopeful that as time progresses, it will become even easier to compost and turn "food matter into usable soil."

Know of any other local restaurants or food-related enterprises that have made the switch to more sustainable practices? If so, let us know in the comments.

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