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DISD Cafeterias Moving From Lunch Trays To Compostable Plates

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The cafeteria lady with the hair net, the metal, then plastic and now Styrofoam lunch trays... conjure fun memories for so many current and former Dallas Independent School District students. But no more!

The DISD is saying goodbye to the polystyrene lunch trays and are rolling out the use of compostable round plates at cafeterias this month.

Officials with the district say the new lunch trays will "allow students to eat their food off of plates like they do at home." The new trays will also cut down on the amount of waste being sent to area landfills, because they are produced from new, recycled newsprint and will be composted. Officials say the change will remove 225 million Styrofoam trays from landfills each year.

The move from the traditional rectangular lunch tray came after the Urban School Food Alliance, a coalition of DISD and some the largest school districts in the United States, challenged the industry to develop an "innovative and affordable" environmentally-friendly round plate.

Mark Izeman, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, "Cities are teaching kids that sustainability and smarter choices can be integrated into every part of your daily life - even your lunch."

The new compostable plates will cost 4.9 cents each. The polystyrene trays cost an average of 4 cents apiece.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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