PRBA members Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón are architects and interior designers that are dedicated to sustainable architecture and interior design with a socially conscious outlook in mind. Their most recent endeavor includes informing and orienting people about how to be more self-conscious with the use of foam.
In a blog article posted on their website they shared information on how harmful this material is to our environment and ourselves, causing diseases like cancer and depression. In 2016 they began a social media campaign with the intention of educating restauranteurs and clients about the dangers of using to-go foam containers. Restauranteurs opt for foam because of its economic properties. It is 11 cents more expensive to offer compostable containers, so AD&V named their campaign: “What’s with foam? 11 cents or 500 years?”
On 2016’s Earth Day they asked local Santurce restaurants to allow clients to bring their own compostable alternatives for takeout. “We set up a tent in the Ciudadela’s Plaza, partnered with a local compostable container company, and proceeded to give out over 500 compostable take-out containers, made from leftover agricultural fiber, to consumers in the area and in exchange we asked consumers to sign our petition. Our petition on change.org that day received over 942 signatures of consumers willing to pay 11cents extra to be given the choice of a compostable container rather than a foam one,” reads a statement on their Say No to Foam publication on their website.
The Senate of Puerto Rico is currently evaluating PC1433, which proposes to eliminate foam to-go containers from the restaurant industry, something for which AD&V submitted a letter in total support of, as well as outlined their different initiatives in efforts to conscientize on the dangers of this material.
In the publication on their website, they included 5 alternatives you can use instead of foam containers: wooden, sugarcane and plant fiber containers as well as reusable plate covers and lids and where you can find each of these. You can read more about this great initiative on alvarezdiazvillalon.com.