Condiments not Containers
Updated: Aug 7, 2021
We're all used to taking food, drinks, sauces, and other condiments back home after eating at a restaurant. But we seldom realize the impact that the extra plastic sauce containers have on the environment. Plastic sauce containers are made of different types of materials. The containers are generally made out of polypropylene or polystyrene. The lids of these small plastic containers can be made of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene or polystyrene.
Polyethylene terephthalate is a lightweight and rigid plastic. Even though this type of plastic can be recycled, it actually does not biodegrade, but rather photodegrades. This means that the plastic breaks down into smaller pieces over time with light. Photodegration can be extremely harmful for the environment because of the time it takes and because many animals can accidentally ingest it. It's definitely a harmful item to pollute, but many of these types of products are still being made.
Polypropylene is a great recyclable plastic material. It can be melted and reformed easily. It is one of the best plastic materials around, as long as it is not in straw form. Polystyrene is a commonly used material. However, it is one of the most commonly littered material in the world. In addition, polystyrene can cause health problems.
Most restaurants freely allow customers to take sauce containers. Of course, these containers can be simply disposed of in the recycling can, but end up in the trash or outside instead. This whole problem with small plastic sauce containers could be avoided if companies produced less and restaurants gave out less. Of course, with our ever-growing needs, this is not a realistic option. The best thing that we can do is just recycle the containers so they can be reused and won't harm the planet.
Sources: Huff Post, GDA, Chemical Safety Facts, Earth Easy