A Sysco employee has come up with a solution for Fernie restaurants seeking biodegradable options in replacement of plastics.
That Sysco employee doesn’t live here any more but Fernie is his home town, and when he heard that some businesses were moving away from plastic products, he felt obligated to share his knowledge of the packaging industry.
Read more: Fernie businesses go green
Sysco is the main distributor of food products to restaurants in Fernie and presented “Green Fernie”, a showcase of biodegradable and compostable products on June 20 at the Park Place Lodge.
Everyone was welcome to view the many products on display and restaurant owners and employees were encouraged to attend.
Lee Gilmar, the brains behind this workshop, hoped it would give restaurant owners a chance to see the many green options available to them and make the switch from plastics.
“I’d like to see it (Fernie) more green,” he said before the show.
“I have a captive audience and I think we can make a really big impact by just showing them the right products.”
Companies such as Pactiv, Polar, Worldcentric, and more, are derivatives of companies that started with the solo foam cup and eventually moved away from them.
These and more were present at the workshop.
Working in the food products business, Gilmar has noticed that the culture is changing.
But is it affordable? Gilmar says yes, but it takes some planning.
“That’s why a lot of restaurateurs choose to use inexpensive options,” he said.
“Let’s be honest, food’s expensive. It’s not a million dollar business.
He said when most restaurants looked at the cost per unit of packaging, whether that be a coffee cup or aluminum foil container, owners really took into account their cost because at the end of the day it affected their bottom line, especially if they were producing 1000 meals a month or more.
Gilmar proposed that restaurants simply start charging an ‘eco-fee’ to the end user for the container to help offset the cost of a slightly more expensive, but greener packaging method.
Alternatively, he proposed that restaurants encourage customers to bring their own containers.