076: Reducing Dining Waste with the PlasticScore App
Does it irk you to order food, but then get 'accidental' plastic?
Tune in for my interview with Mladen Gajic, Co-founder and CEO of PlasticScore, a zero-waste rating app for restaurants. Find out how PlasticScore is providing opportunities for diners and restaurants to reduce plastic waste.
What Can Be Done about Accidental Plastic
It's happened to all us. You have a hankering for takeout food. You peruse the menu, and start salivating as you choose the items. You can't wait for those luscious flavors and spices.
But then, when you're handed your order, your heart sinks. Not only did you get the food you ordered, but you also got plastic silverware and a napkin, wrapped in plastic. Your dessert was packed up in a Styrofoam container. The homemade food was packed in three separate, large plastic clamshells.
It was all placed in a paper bag, stapled shut, then placed in a plastic bag.
Wouldn't it be nice to know beforehand what kind of packaging would be used, or if you can use your own containers? Especially during COVID-19 times, what can you do?
PlasticScore: Eliminating Unnecessary Dining Waste
In May 2019, Mladen Gajic, Tim Furlong and Paul Fuqua met at a weekend event for entrepreneurs. The Techstars Startup Weekend started with an opportunity to pitch an idea in Food + Tech.
Paul pitched the idea, the three formed a team, and went on to start PlasticScore.
PlasticScore can be downloaded for free on Google Play or the App Store. Diners can search for restaurants, browse ratings, or submit ratings for dine-in or takeout. By answering simple questions, app users provide the details about the experience. The PlasticScore (1 to 5 turtles) is then computed and displayed.
PlasticScore also works with restaurants who want to reduce waste by sharing best practices and helping sort through the complexity of dining and packaging options.
Even during the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants are coming up with innovative ways to reduce waste, and keep staff and diners safe.
For example, Somebody People in Denver offers diners the option of using their own "tiffins", stainless steel containers.
For restaurants looking to take first steps, Mladen suggests making plasticware available upon request (rather than included with every order) and getting away from Styrofoam. Read more on the impact of dining waste on the PlasticScore blog.
Plastic Free July Challenge
Plastic Free July is a global initiative that provides resources and ideas to help you (and millions of others around the world) reduce single-use plastic waste everyday at home, work, school, and even at your local café.
PlasticScore is putting together a challenge in conjunction with this larger challenge for July. Anyone who downloads the PlasticScore app can participate. The challenge will offer rewards for people leaving reviews and PlasticScore will also be picking up items of trash to offset each disposable item counted in the reviews during the challenge.
Download the app to be notified about how to participate.
How to Connect with PlasticScore
Launch Your Idea!
Looking for support to launch your initiative?
Climate Action Challenge
Save the date! We're helping 1,000 people launch or expand initiatives from September 1 to November 30, 2020.
Find out more and learn how to join our launch team at www.ClimateActionChallenge.net.
Denver Startup Week
Denver Startup Week will be virtual for the first time ever in 2020. The event is about everything entrepreneurial in Denver and will be held September 14 - 18, 2020
For more information: https://www.denverstartupweek.org/