Backlot will also serve cold drinks in glassware with stainless steel straws for guests dining in (plastic to-go cold drink cups and lids are recyclable). And last month, Backlot began composting with Collective Resource, an Evanston-based food scrap pick-up service. It is estimated 2,000 pounds of coffee grounds each month will be composted between the two shops.

Inspired by the #SheddtheStraw campaign led by Shedd Aquarium, Backlot calculates 24,000 plastic straws will be prevented from entering the waste stream on an annual basis. Stainless steel flatware is also supplied in each shop and for to-go food orders, compostable paper bags and utensils are provided.

“We’ve been listening to our customers, reading and learning about the detrimental effects single-use disposable plastic has on our environment and wanted to work toward making a difference in a meaningful way,” says co-owner Isaac Bloom. “It is a small step toward solving a larger problem, but it’s a step forward and we believe our Old Irving Park and Evanston communities will appreciate it too.”