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Sep 15, 2012 01:41 PM

are styrofoam and/or plastic take out containers a deal breaker for chowhounders?

just like the title says, i was curious as to how many chowhounders consider this when they are eating take out food. does it even register when u are handed these frowned upon containers? i myself am guilty of not even registering any thoughts when i have bought take out.

i have been reading up a little bit and am now more aware of what places are actually using. just curious as to what others think on the subject especially what actions you have taken as far as places that blatantly use styrofoam containers if any.

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  1. I very rarely get takeout, but there is a bakery that makes wonderful pastries. Last time I bought two they started to put them in a big styrofoam clamshell. I stopped them and said a paper bag would be fine. However, we can now recycle styrofoam along with glass, plastic etc so not as big a concern as it used to be.

    1. I was looking at a highly rated restaurant's pictures on Yelp, saw they serve everything on Styrofoam (not just take out.) I won't be eating there.

      1. I ordered a salad the other day at a new-to-me place. Mixed greens with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. It came to my table --just out side of the establishment's doors on a nice patio with an umbrella-table.--in a styrofoam clamshell. I won't be going back. I may be bothered by the "un-ecofriendliness" (is that even a word?) but what really got to me is the aesthetics. The plastic fork digging into the plastic styro-i-ness is just icky icky icky. Bummer that they ruined what ~could~ have been a nice salad.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pedalfaster

          "oh this looks nice but do you have plates, real plates?"

        2. interesting replies so far. how about the plastic issue. is this a problem? would it be preferable to for take out joints to use the PLA plant based plastic. i read that these are biodegradable but how can you tell which it is? it all looks like plastic to me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: justanotherdoan

            One of our local ice cream places tried those plant-based "plastic" spoons. For some reason it game me a nasty rash(around the mouth area). Ick again and just something to think about. Sorry I don't have any good answers!

          2. Are you concerned about recycling or about possible chemical hazards in your food? Around here, I see recycling logos on most plastic containers but styrofoam is not accepted by our recycling companies. So I prefer plastic, and that's what most places use. I only see waxed cardboard for Chinese take-out, and even that is in decline, being replaced by less-leakprone
            plastic. I have started taking my own Rubbermaid containers when I go for takeout or to a restaurant in expectation of leftover food. In the former case, using one's own containers means you are not able to call the order in ahead of time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              i am more concern about the recycling. just trying to do my part since i do eat alot of take out. it did started bothering me a bit especially since i eat alot of chinese food. seeing all these stryofoam containers. not sure what i can do about it though since like i said almost 80% or more of my meals are eating out. of those more than half is take out.