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EAT Restaurant Initiative

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Welcome to the table Alabama!
Let’s EAT Sustainably!

The Alabama Environmental Council (AEC) would like to invite you to join the Earth Aware Team (EAT) We want you to help us support restaurants that adopt sustainable practices such as avoiding the use of toxic food service containers. 

Members and supporters of EAT Alabama understand that their choices make a difference.

We want to make it easy for you to identify restaurants that care about our health and the health of the planet. Just look for The AEC Seal identifying EAT participating members on websites, social media and food delivery apps.

Level 1 – No Styro Friend
  • No polystyrene foam (styrofoam) food service containers or any #6 polystyrene plastic containers *
  • No single use plastic bags for takeout
  • Utensils for take out service, other accessories (straws, stirrers, etc) and condiments provided only upon request
Why no Styrofoam?    

Styrofoam is the 5th largest source of hazardous waste on the planet.

Styrofoam contains toxins that leach into our food and drink, and when disposed of, contaminates the soil, water and especially our air.


Why no single-use plastic bags?

Over 100 billion plastic bags are produced annually in the US and they float easily in the air and water, traveling long distances and never fully breaking down. This waste will be with us forever.

Why no plastic utensils?

Plastic utensils are virtually impossible to recycle through curbside recycling programs, and 98% of all U.S. takeout or delivery meals are consumed at home or a workplace, where reusable cutlery is typically available

Level 2  – Silver Sustainable Partner 
  • Meet Criteria for Sustainable Friend
  • Food service containers must contain low to no PFAS
  • Only reusable foodware used for onsite dining

What is PFAS and why is it bad?
PFAS or Polyfluoroalkyl Substances are chemicals that have been used to make packaging water and grease resistant, however, they are toxic and carcinogenic. These chemicals leach out of the containers and into our food causing numerous health issues.


Using only reusable foodware for on site dining reduces avoidable waste which deplete natural resources, and raises concerns about toxic chemicals that pollute the environment and endanger human health.

Level 3 – Gold Sustainable Partner 
  • Meet criteria for Silver Sustainable Partner &
  • Use composting to reduce landfill waste 
Or 3 of the following:
  • Buy local, preferably organic produce and humanely raised animals  when possible (at least 5% of COGS is from local suppliers)
  • Offer plant based proteins
  • Donate leftovers (i.e. to homeless shelters)
  • No beverages sold in plastic bottles
  • Advertise that you will refill water bottles 
  • Accept personal containers for take-out
Why should you compost? Every year US landfills and incinerators receive 160 million tons of garbage and 50% of that is actually compostable. Composting is good for people and the planet. Composting is the aerobic decomposition of organic materials by microorganisms. It is a valuable soil conditioner teeming with life. Landfills are bad for people and the environment. They pollute the land, air, and water creating health hazards as well as perpetuating climate change by releasing toxic greenhouse gases like methane which is 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.
If you are a restaurant and want to learn more about the program and the benefits of membership CLICK HERE
Contact info for EAT initiative:
Lauren Guillebeau
(205) 919-5466

Partner Restaurants

Advisory Board

Brooks Taylor – Owner, Birmingham Breadworks
Weston Stitt – Sustainability Manager, Bottega
Laney DeJonge – Owner, Rojo

Chris Bahaleigh – Owner, Slice
Matthew Nesbitt – Owner, Field Culture Compost
Brett Abels – Owner, Feast BHAM

Education Resources

Alternative Products

Waste Reduction