Nothing seemed special about the plates from which students at a handful of Miami schools devoured their meals for a few weeks last spring — round, rigid and colorless, with four compartments for food and a fifth in the center for a carton of milk.
Looks, however, can be deceiving: They were the vanguard of what could become an environmental revolution in schools across the United States.
With any uneaten food, the plates, made from sugar cane, can be thrown away and turned into a product prized by gardeners and farmers everywhere: compost. If all goes as planned, compostable plates will replace plastic foam lunch trays by September not just for the 345,000 students in the Miami-Dade County school system, but also for more than 2.6 million others nationwide.
Of course, the hippie happy plates cost almost quadruple what the plastic plates do but, hey, FEEL GOOD STUFF!
We are forever being told that more money needs to be spent on education. And then it gets spent on almost anything but teaching kids how to read or write. Now they may very well end up finding a way to make this more feasible but the mere fact that hot mess districts like Los Angeles Unified are spending time on things like this rather than the bare bones of educating shows how awful the priorities are in public education.