Released: January 31, 2023
Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer, Chief Sustainability Officer Francine Locke, and Capozzoli’s owners Anthony, Michael, and Chris Capozzoli joined Capozzoli’s Courthouse Café Manager John "Hof" Hofmann and members of the staff this week to celebrate the recent greening of Capozzoli’s Courthouse Café at the Government Center in Media.
Over the past couple of weeks, Capozzoli’s has switched to 100% biodegradable takeout containers, recyclable cutlery, reusable bags, and salad containers made from recycled water bottles, while phasing out its stock of traditional plastics and Styrofoam food containers.
The Courthouse Café has also stopped using single-use plastic bags and is encouraging patrons to use reusable bags. Spurred by Media Borough’s Ordinance #1155, which prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags and straws in the Borough, the County’s Office of Sustainability and Capozzoli’s engaged in ongoing discussions to ensure compliance with the new ordinance at the Café, which sees an average of 500 customers per day.
“I’m really proud that our Office of Sustainability and the Capozzoli’s team worked together to bring about this change,” said Vice Chair Schaefer. “Incorporating biodegradable containers instead of Styrofoam and single-use plastic is a meaningful first step toward our zero waste goals and I look forward to continued progress”.
Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene, is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable and takes roughly 500 years to decompose, and the production of the material emits 21 million tons of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere in the U.S. each year. Capozzoli’s estimates that upwards of 25,000 plastic bags and 22,000 single-use Styrofoam and plastic food containers will be eliminated in 2023, replaced by the new biodegradable materials.
“We’re honestly thrilled to get rid of the Styrofoam and go green,” said John "Hof" Hofmann, Manager of the Capozzoli’s Courthouse Café. “We know that stuff isn’t good for the environment, and we’ve received nothing but positive feedback from everyone who eats here at the Cafe.”
As part of its commitment, Capozzoli’s has purchased and given away over 600 reusable bags to customers (a small fee of a few cents will be charged for the bags for those customers who don’t bring a reusable bag beginning Feb. 1).
Chief Sustainability Officer Francine Locke noted that both the County and Capozzoli’s were eager to do more than the minimal requirements of the ordinance and set a strong example of good sustainability practices.
“Capozzoli’s has been a great partner in this effort, and this is an important first step to moving towards zero waste,” explained Ms. Locke, adding “Our plan is to begin collecting organic materials from the Café and begin composting as early as the fall of this year.”
“Working not only with the County, but with many local colleges and universities, Capozzoli’s understands the importance of sustainability, and we’ve been happy to be on the leading edge of this effort,” explained Michael Capozzoli, Jr. “Now we’re looking to roll out these changes to all of our locations and go completely green with our catering business.”
More sustainable changes are on the horizon with the drafting of Delaware County’s first-ever sustainability plan. To learn more, visit the Delaware County Office of Sustainability website at delcopa.gov/sustainability.