Reimagine Takeout


HAP’s Reimagine Takeout initiative is working to help local restaurants replace harmful plastic takeout containers with compostable or reusable alternatives.

bees in a beehive on honeycomb


Restaurant takeout containers in Pittsburgh are often made with single-use plastic. These containers are almost never recyclable. Compostable containers are a viable alternative but currently the compostable culture in Pittsburgh is still underdeveloped, with few businesses using compostable containers and not enough places that accept compostable containers for composting. Composting centers are integral for effective decomposition.

The Facts

Take-out containers are not recyclable.

Almost none of the standard takeout containers used in Pittsburgh are recyclable. Even containers that appear to be paper often contain a plastic lining inside. And because these containers come in contact with food, they are also covered in contaminates like oil, which harm the recycling process for other items.

There are alternatives.

Compostable take-out containers are a great alternative to plastic containers. While compostables still tend to be slightly more expensive than some plastic containers, more and more options are becoming available and costs are dropping as demand rises.

Composting cuts plastic and fights climate change.

Compostable containers break down in less than 1 year and they biodegrade into materials suitable for reintegration into soil and gardens. Proper composting also cuts greenhouse gases.


What is HAP doing about it?

HAP is creating a new online resource to promote composting, compostable alternatives to plastic take-out containers, and restaurants that use compostable containers. Stay tuned for more news soon!

We are also fundraising to create a pilot program to support businesses making the switch to compostables.


How You Can Help

Donate to HAP to support the Reimagine Takeout program and talk to your favorite restaurants to ask if they’d consider moving to compostable take-out containers.

More in Environmental Stewardship:

"No Plastic Please"

Safeguarding our Rivers from Nurdles

Reimagine Takeout

Pittsburgh Ploggers