Maryland schools add eco-friendly lunch trays to cafeterias

Beginning this fall, Montgomery County schools expects to replace polystyrene lunch trays with eco-friendly lunch trays from Clarksburg to Silver Spring.

MONTGOMERY COUNTRY, Md.—Luis Pozo’s lunch tray was the size of a notebook, a thin cardboard rectangle he used to carry his noon meal through the cafeteria of Francis Scott Key Middle School in Silver Spring.

The eighth-grader loaded it with chocolate milk, potato rounds, a burger and a fruit cup. When he was done, he stacked the tray onto a growing pile.

“They can be recycled,” Luis said. “If we don’t recycle, we’re going to destroy our planet.”

It was a sign of times to come in Montgomery County, as Maryland’s largest school system leaves behind the long era of the polystyrene lunch tray for a more environmentally friendly replacement that will be used to serve up nearly 15 million school meals a year.

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