Options for Take-out — With Less Taking Out (of the Garbage)

Recyclables, compostables, and reusables are all sustainable options for takeout containers. Determining which is best for your food service can be challenging.

A notable percentage of today’s waste is recycled for uses including compost and new products, but an even larger amount goes into landfills — and eventually, waterways, oceans, the air, and our bodies.

Clearly, much work remains in waste management, especially regarding single-use plastic containers and packaging whose widespread use and longevity make them a major contributor to both non-compostable waste and greenhouse gas emissions.


Plastic is ideal for food packaging and containers as food is especially vulnerable to external forces and contamination in both its raw and processed forms.

Why is plastic so bad? 

  • Plastics derive from fossil fuels and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
  • Plastics are not biodegradable. They just break down into smaller pieces that release toxic chemicals and are harder to collect.
  • Some plastics contain non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) that cause health issues.


Eliminating single-use plastic carry-out containers requires both analysis of other options and a strategy personalized to each client. Below is a quick summary of some of the alternatives.


Instituting true change depends on the ability to introduce new systems, change the current throw-away mindset, and make the better option the default option thereby gaining buy-in and participation from employees and customers.

Interested in exploring your options? Download this insight to learn about the history of plastic packaging, the science behind today’s standards, and opportunities for more environmentally friendly takeout containers.

Ready to commit? ISS Guckenheimer is here to help!

Recyclables, Compostables, or Reuseables: Options for Take-out

Download the findings from our latest insights.

Download nowhttps://brand.issworld.com/m/6c53535ca303b00d/original/2024_0104_ReusablesInsight.pdf