Stamping Out Single-Use Utensils

Kelly Freeman

CircleTerra, a woman-owned, eco-friendly tableware company in Garland, wants people to ditch their traditional to-go options for good. They make certified compostable and recyclable options for tableware, food trays, cutlery, straws, take out to-go containers and other traditionally single-use plastic products. Owner and founder Kelly Freeman started the company in 2015 so she could put her desire for a sustainable planet into practical action.

CircleTerra is challenging consumers and business owners in the DFW area to reduce single-use plastic straw consumption by one million straws over the next seven months. They have partnered with EarthX, the world's largest Environmental Conference, Expo and Film festival, to promote the Strike out Straws pledge, a campaign to put an end to single-use plastic straws by changing behavior at the consumer and business level.

"Single-use plastic straws take more than 200 years to break down and are becoming more and more detrimental to our oceans and wildlife," says Freeman. "If we can get consumers to start refusing single use plastic straws, or begin asking for biodegradable paper straws, it won't take long before businesses take notice."

Starbucks and Disney parks have rolled out plans to phase out plastic single-use straws by 2020. Malibu, Miami Beach and Seattle have passes plastic straw bans or restrictions. "There are alternatives out there that can still be used by consumers and discarded, but without the long-term negative consequences to the planet,” says Freeman.

"Reduce, reuse and recycle are great things to say, but you can't always control what people are going to do with your products," says Freeman. "However, businesses can control what products they give to their customers. By switching to sustainable food containers and tableware, businesses are proving they care about the world our children will inherit."

All of CircleTerra's products are created with the environment in mind. Plates, clamshells and other containers are made from sugarcane or bamboo fiber, which are both compostable and recyclable. Bowls are made from palm leaves. Straws are made from Forest Stewardship Council- and U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved paper, not plastic. Insulated coffee cups and lids are compostable and recyclable.

"Many businesses want to switch from harmful Styrofoam and plastic products, but aren't sure what steps to take to make that change," says Freeman. "That's why I created CircleTerra; to help those companies make the switch away from plastic easier."

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