Often, even the organic meat I buy in grocery stores comes on a Styrofoam tray, wrapped in plastic wrap. I get frustrated when I have to throw away the packaging, knowing it ends up indefinitely in a landfill. The city of Seattle, Wash., doesn’t want all that Styrofoam ending up in landfills either. The city has put a ban on the environmentally unfriendly product in restaurants and grocery stores.

Slashfood reports that the Metropolitan Market Chain in the Seattle region along with some other businesses have switched to a compostable meat tray that is made of corn. In a commercial composting facility, the trays will break down and turn into soil in six months. Compare that to Styrofoam that doesn’t break down, and it sounds like a great idea.

Seattle recently required that all residents begin curbside composting of food scraps, yard waste and other compostable materials. The compostable materials are collected weekly. I assume that these new trays will be picked up with that collection, making it easy for residents of the city to compost the trays.

I really like the idea of compostable meat trays. You know where else I’d like to see these compostable trays? In school cafeterias. Ideally, I’d like to see reusable trays that get washed daily for sustainable purposes — so children don't think that disposable is the way to go. But, if a district is going to use disposable, this would be a step in a better direction. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Compostable meat trays
As Seattle bans Styrofoam, area businesses come up with a more sustainable alternative.