COVID and disposable food packaging: a harmful, unhealthy combination

I spent much of the late fall and early winter working on a massive package for the sustainability-focused nonprofit journalism organization Orb Media. This package covers the environmental and human health impacts of the significant global uptick in use of takeout containers and other disposable food service products during the pandemic, largely as a result of restaurant closures and related efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The package includes a variety of different elements: a 1,500-word journalistic piece; a detailed guide to identifying the safest, lowest-impact disposable foodware products and materials; a rundown of the best plates, cups, clamshells, straws, and other disposable products currently available; and more. It's chock-full of information and resources you won't find anywhere else.

To read it you have to sign up for a (free) account, in part because Orb's main role is not as a publishing platform, but rather as a resource for other media outlets across the country and around the world. In that sense the goal of my work for them was not to reach readers per se, but rather to multiply the message by working with Orb's partner media organizations (specifically editors at those outlets), who can help call attention to these important issues for their own readers in their own local markets. If you're interested, head here and create an account.


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