Can Do: Cafeteria Changes to Soda Cans to Help Environment

The Four Seasons Cafeteria at Virginia Mason is trying cans instead of plastic bottles for soda.

The Four Seasons Cafeteria at Virginia Mason is trying cans instead of plastic bottles for soda.

Consider these facts:

  • Plastic bottles take 700 years before they start to decompose, and it can take up to 1,000 years before they fully decompose.
  • 80 percent of plastic bottles are not recycled, left to sit around and take up space in landfills and in nature for 1,000 years.
  • Millions of gallons of oil are used to produce plastic bottles every year.

When you consider the big picture, it’s easy to see why controlling the proliferation of plastic bottled beverages is a key step to protecting our environment. That is why the Food and Nutrition Services team at Virginia Mason is piloting an initiative to reduce the number of beverages served in plastic bottles in our hospital cafeteria and vending machines across the medical center. This initiative is one more step for our EnviroMason conservation program at Virginia Mason.

“When you think about the environmental impact of the billions of plastic bottles littering our planet, it’s clear that businesses and individuals will have to come together and work on a solution to this problem,” says Jerry Roundy, director, Food and Nutrition Services. “Recycling helps, but it’s not enough. That is why Virginia Mason is doing its part to reduce the number of plastic bottles we sell.”

For those who may be worried about their favorite flavor of drink going away – don’t despair. Roundy says the cafeteria will continue to provide all the same flavors of sodas and juices as before, but they will move to 12 oz. aluminum cans instead.

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