Earth Day 2018’s official goal is to end plastic pollution, and Fifth Group is right on theme: We’ve traded the 500,000 plastic straws we previously used each year for biodegradable compostable straws and plastic stirrers for bamboo stir sticks. We think this effort to reduce the 500 million plastic straws Americans use daily is a great place to start.
We’re also cutting down on our glass usage, since glass recycling options are almost non-existent for Atlanta restaurants. We have removed all glass bottled water from our restaurants and now offer canned, locally sourced Montane Sparkling Spring water, and 90% of all bottled beer offerings have been converted to cans. Replacing glass with aluminum alternatives is also more energy efficient in general – 65 percent more so than glass recycling.
This isn’t our first rodeo. We’re proud to recycle the vast majority of our cardboard, plastic and aluminum waste and compost approximately 90 percent of organic waste, diverting more than 1.5 million pounds of organic waste from landfills and resulting in nearly 750,000 pounds of compost annually. Ecco earned the impressive title of Georgia’s first dumpster-free restaurant, and Lure collects nearly 150,000 gallons of rainwater from its roof per year to prevent urban runoff and diminish the amount of pollutants washed into local streams.
As the first restaurant group to embrace a zero-waste business model, we know the team effort it takes to prioritize sustainability. From procurement to training staff and educating guests, the whole Fifth Group Family is working to answer the environmental call to action for the food world, and we look forward to leading Atlanta’s green initiatives for years to come.