National Aquarium turns trash into soil with Eco-Products

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In Maryland, the National Aquarium is partnering with Eco-Products on an innovative new effort to turn guests’ trash into rich, fertile soil – rather than ending up in area landfills. Eco-Products, based in Boulder, Co., is supplying thousands of compostable cups, plates, lids, utensils, containers and trays to the Aquarium’s food service locations. This now replaces all conventional disposable foodware plastic products with reusable, compostable or more sustainable options. They will ultimately be turned into nutrient-rich soil and mulch for area farms, gardens – and even Waterfront Park surrounding the Aquarium.

The new effort simplifies things for guests as all plates, utensils and trays go into the same bin for compostables – along with any leftover food. The compostables will then be combined with other organic waste at Recycled Green Industries, a commercial composting facility in Woodbine, Maryland. A portion of the resulting soil from this process will return to the Inner Harbor to be used in planters on campus, bringing the journey full circle.