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To: To Peggy Cherng CEO of Panda Express
Reduction of Plastics in Panda Express
Dear Peggy Cherng,
We are environmental consumers interested in encouraging your restaurant to reduce the use of plastic waste. Many people have observed that your restaurant uses a large amount of plastic with both in-house and take-out orders. Instead of plastic bowls, cardboard bowls/boxes are a good alternative and are both less expensive and have a smaller impact on our environment.
Why is this important?
Plastics that we use and fail to recycle end up in the landfills, and often times into our oceans where they congregate into gyres which the Gyre Cleanup Project describes as a “naturally occurring vortex of wind and currents that rotate in a clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and [counterclockwise] in the southern hemisphere.” These gyres attract the plastics to the center of the gyre and, over the years, have created what we call the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Once reaching the center, and even before, the plastics begin to break down into microplastics that enter the ecosystems and end up concentrating in the top of the food chain through biomagnification this can cause the animals to starve or can kill them through lead poisoning.
The best way to fix this problem is through preventing the plastics from ever reaching the oceans, and reducing our overall use of plastics. This is easiest in cases like Panda Express where their plastic products are easily replaced by less harmful alternatives, like cardboard boxes and reusable containers.