An environmental question regarding gelato


So I’m curious, if I am to contribute to the mounds of waste in the world, which I often do anyway, but this question is more specific, is it better to throw away an edible ice cream cone or a paper cup?

This not-serious-but-serious question arose as I usually order my gelato in a cup, which gets chucked along with the little plastic spoon. Now I’m at least partially environmentally conscious; at home I recycle my glass and plastics, but I don’t go out of my way to buy products with less packaging.** But throwing away that little cup, which is sometimes plastic (and that is surely worse) feels a little wasteful.

The kicker here is that I don’t like ice cream cones. Their cheap savoury-sweet crunchiness only interferes with the gelato, in my opinion. This means that if I do buy a cone, some or all of it ends up in the bin (if the coned gelato still comes with a spoon, then the whole cone ends up in the bin as I can scoop all the gelato out). (Unless it’s one of those fancy waffle cones, which I like a little more.)

If I am to be wasteful, and in this case I am, which is better to trash? Food, paper or plastic?

I’m asking the important questions today.

Picture of my first italian gelato in a month, from RivaReno in Ferrara.

**the amount of plastic and crap that can surround the most simple packet of biscuits or piece of cheese being one of the examples of why massive corporations can’t be trusted on their own to do the right thing.


6 thoughts on “An environmental question regarding gelato

  1. rO says:

    There’s only a solution: becoming more Italian and change your taste about the cone 🙂
    I agree that not all the cones are good, some of them are not crispy enough, for example, but you can surely find a good gelateria with good-tasting cones. My motto is: one but good.
    What I would like to underline is that the cones are part of the icecream experience. Eating the icecream is a pleasure that often bring us back to chilhoood and it implies to not be formal (using the little spoon) and licking the icecream. That’s my personal idea. And then you’ll have not more doubt about the enviroment 😉

    • I promise it isn’t only Italian cones I don’t like, growing up in New Zealand I always preferred my ice cream in a bowl 🙂 You’re right, though, I’m just going to have to work harder at liking them

    • I can definitely dig on waffle cones, it’s just an availability thing I guess. I think the only real solution is to carry around my own small ice cream bowl that can get reused, the way people do with those coffee cups

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