Green Villain: Habana Outpost and Their Plastic Cups Made from Corn

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08/14/2009 12:31 PM |

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I love the Fort Greene “eco-eatery” at least as much as the next guy who can never find a place to sit down there, both for its neighborhood-hub vibe and responsible practices (often praised by the L), from the solar power and captured rainwater to its thorough recycling and choice of materials — even the plastic beer cups are actually made out of corn.

Well, it hurts us to say this, but. As gently explained to us by the good people Grist, these corn-derived plastics are made, predominantly, by bloated industrial-farming and modified-food titan Cargill, from corn harvested at no small carbon cost; they’re “biodegradable, but only in commercial composting facilities or other composts [with very difficult-to-replicate conditions]“, and you run into major problems trying to effectively recycle it.

Plastic made from corn is a lot like fuel made from corn — the cups are still, basically, plastic, and their most prominent local purchaser should reconsider using them. It’s a shame you can’t use paper cups for beer; the solution, I guess, is for Habana Outpost to start serving beer in glass Mason jars, as god intended.