When Cafe Manna opened in Brookfield in 2008, it was the rare Milwaukee-area restaurant that used compostable containers and flatware for takeout orders and customers' leftovers.
It's considerably more likely in 2015 that diners at other restaurants will take home the rest of their dinners in compostable boxes or in reusable, recyclable containers instead of polystyrene foam boxes.
Those bulky foam containers and other "virgin" plastic clamshell boxes are made from petroleum and are rot-resistant at the dump. As more chefs and restaurateurs — and diners — become interested in locally produced and organic food, restaurants have begun to consider how green other aspects of their businesses are.
It's a topic nationwide; this week, a ban on plastic foam food and drink containers moved forward in New York City because recycling the material isn't feasible.