By Larraine Roulston:
Thinking outside the box — rather, about eating it — was exactly what Sean Berthiaume at Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn, NY, did. In order to reduce the waste by discarding the large volume of cardboard delivery boxes, Berthiaume, one of the three owners, created a pizza box out of dough to be enjoyed along with the pizza. This innovation was introduced to pizza loving customers during Earth Week.
Berthiaume likes to experiment when orders are slow. After observing the number of pizza boxes he regularly sees in garbage cans, he became inspired to create an edible box … 100% pizza, 100% delicious and Zero Waste. “It’s a Sicilian pizza underneath a fluffy Sicilian pizza that forms the pizza box, and then inside of it is another small pizza. All totally pieodegradable!” he said.
His partner,Yaakov Petrera was amazed at the great reaction and how quickly it caught on. “Within the first week we sold over 50 pizzas using the new edible box. At the same time we’ve lessened both clutter and waste.” Within the first two weeks following the launch, Vinnie’s had sold well over 100 Pizza Box Pizzas. Petrera added that they have been striving to perfect the safest way to deliver their creation. Their present plan involves wrapping the pizza in foil and placing it inside a reusable pizza bag.
As their pizza box top is just crust, no gooey cheese and toppings will rub off against the foil. With a
clean foil surface, this aluminum can be either reused or recycled. Although standard cardboard boxes are recyclable, many are not, due to greasy contamination. As well, cardboard boxes — along with any leftover food particles — can be ripped up for composting; however, most are not. For satisfied customers too full to finish both pizza and box, leftovers can be rewrapped in the foil and popped into the fridge to be enjoyed another day.
It is indeed time to rethink other food packaging and serving methods as well. When it comes to buying cookies or crackers, feel the outer packaging to avoid additional plastic trays. Fast food outlets that offer soups can provide a bread bowl. Restaurants could lessen their waste of disposable straws by offering them only upon request. Chocolate companies might switch to a wafer or chocolate form over petroleum-based individual chocolate forms or layer separators.
Designing edible plates and cutlery is also an innovation on the rise. If you have not already done so, read Kim Robson’s article “Clean Your Plate, Cutlery and All-Edible Cutlery.” In it, she notes that the single-use utensil market is about to be turned on its end with the innovation of cutlery that can be eaten as a flavorful cookie or cracker once you have finished your meal.
Our fate lies in our ability to creatively rethink everyday common practices in order to avoid waste both in a product’s manufacturing and its ultimate disposal.
Inspire. Influence. Innovate. Introduce. We have a voice to “Inspire” and the power of purchase to “Influence” corporations to Innovate and Introduce new Ideas. Survival. It’s all about the
“I Can” for a new Image!
Larraine authors a children’s adventure books on composting at www.castlecompost.com