Is sustainable restaurant packaging possible? This app thinks so

For the environmentally conscious, a take-out dinner can be a moral nightmare. From styrofoam packaging to plastic utensils, it can often feel like a hassle trying to balance sustainability with lifestyle. The Jybe App works to mitigate that hassle and make eating in restaurants possible without sacrificing sustainability.

Sustainability with ease
Launched in 2018 by Alison Diamond, Jybe gives its users a simple system of finding and reviewing sustainability options in restaurants. Its interface allows users to post reviews and pictures of their orders to build a sustainability rating for local restaurants.

This rating system prioritizes sustainability efforts like local food, vegan options, and eco-friendly packaging to help users locate eco-friendly restaurants in their area. By doing so, Jybe hopes to encourage the rise of sustainable options in the food industry and push the use of renewable materials in restaurant packaging.

The importance of sustainable packaging
Food packaging is a significant contributor to worldwide plastic pollution. The EPA estimates that an average of 258 million tons of municipal solid waste are generated in the U.S. each year, about half of which comes from food packaging and food waste. These kinds of wastes fill up landfills and contribute to massive amounts of carbon dioxide and methane emissions every year.

The vast majority of food packaging is designed as single-use and is non-recyclable. Millions of tons of plastic waste fill landfills every year, while significant portions make their way into oceans and waterways. This kind of plastic pollution leads to significant damage to our environments and wildlife, with plastic packaging breaking down into microplastics and even entering our food systems and drinking water.

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How Jybe can help
With the rising problems of plastic pollution and food waste, we have a growing need to improve our sustainability in every aspect of our lives. Jybe helps minimize our packaging waste from restaurants and makes sustainability options more accessible across the United States.

Jybe also offers restaurants the opportunity to improve their sustainability efforts by selling take-out products made from renewable materials like bamboo, wood, and recycled paper. These products are sold at an affordable price, equal to or even less than typical restaurant standards, allowing restaurant owners to make eco-friendly decisions without major costs. These efforts help push the food industry away from the single-use plastics and styrofoams that have dominated the industry for so long.

The downside of Jybe is that it requires others to use the app and leave sustainability reviews on local restaurants. For those who live in rural areas or places where Jybe has not yet become widely used, there are still ways to find sustainable places to eat. Look for restaurants that offer compostable packaging, allow you to use your own containers, or who take advantage of food packaging and container testing to ensure their packaging materials are truly non-toxic to the environment. Another great option is to eat at places that curate dishes with locally grown food.

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Until Jybe becomes widely used across the United States and beyond, let’s encourage local restaurants to offer sustainable food options and use renewable packaging materials. By doing so, we can drive the food industry into a greener, more sustainable future.

Thank you for reading.

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