Sustainability Q&A

Why did the co-op move from washable ware to compostables?

Our small kitchen space, allocated for food production and dishwashing, was created as part of the 2007 renovation. Since then, deli sales have more than doubled.  Increasing food production means more pots, pans, sheet pans, cutting boards, bowls, containers and utensils to wash. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough space to keep up with the growth! Transitioning to compostable plates and silverware was a sacrifice that we had to make in order for our supply to keep up with the demand.

We are grateful to have the opportunity to serve more people year after year.  To do so as responsibly as we can, we have transitioned nearly all of our packaging to compostable products. This includes: 

  • sugar cane plates

  • plant-based silverware

  • plant-based cups and lids

  • plant-based straws

  • waxed paper boxes 

  • paper coffee cups and lids

  • paper soup cups and lids

  • paper water cups

  • paper bakery sleeves

  • paper grocery bags

  • paper napkins

In terms of sustainability, our staff-led Green Team researched the environmental impact of washable ware/water-use and compostable/recyclables and came to the conclusion that the two are equal. 

As always, your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome! Contact us at 785-843-8544 or