Imagine a world without plastic waste. For Plastic Free July, millions of people around the globe are working to make this vision a reality by stopping the use of single-use disposable plastics for one month.
By participating in Plastic Free July, you can make an incredible difference to break free from plastic, while creating a reusable habit that will have a lifetime of impacts...simple steps like saying no to plastic straws, bringing your own reusable cup and grocery bags, and choosing reusable plates and cutlery over throwaways.
As consumers, we also hold power by what we purchase. We can choose to support businesses that don’t use wasteful products in the first place and encourage ones that do to make the switch to reusables.
That’s where ReThink Disposable comes in. A program of Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund, ReThink Disposable prevents waste before it starts by partnering with businesses, individuals, and institutions across the country to reduce the amount of wasteful, single-use disposable products they use. And it’s working. ReThink Disposable reduces more than 200,000 pounds of disposable products every year!
Whether you are a caterer, mobile food vendor or run a restaurant, cafe or institutional kitchen, ReThink Disposable can help you reduce waste, save money, improve customers’ dining experience, prevent litter in local waterways, and be a greener business.
Molly Fleming, one of the owners of Palette Food and Juice in L.A., wanted to implement systems that were low waste and didn’t add to the landfill, but couldn’t figure out exactly how to do it. “ReThink Disposable came in and helped me to hone in what I wanted to do already,” said Fleming.
Since working with the program, Palette Food and Juice switched from serving drinks in plastic throwaway cups and lids to reusable glass cups, saving almost $500 per year. They also got rid of self service station with straws, stopped serving them, and put up a ReThink Disposable “Do You Really Need a Straw?” sign in the restaurant.
“When we put in the sign, children were coming in and saying ‘look mom this is so cool’ and people actually are thinking about whether or not they want the straw,” said Fleming.
They also switched from plastic to metal ramekins for tastings, creating additional savings and customer appreciation.
“We feel that the program has really helped people understand more of our purpose, because we are trying to keep food and plastic waste to a minimum,” said Fleming. “It has communicated our philosophy to our customers. Also, our employees are really excited about it.”
At Gus’ Tacos Mexican Grill in L.A., ReThink Disposable helped the restaurant pay for and replace disposable cups, plates and utensils with reusables and offer disposable straws only by request. These changes helped the restaurant reduce its use of single-use disposable items by almost 18,000 pieces a year, preventing over 200 pounds of trash annually and saving over $400 a year.
“In the beginning, I thought it would be a hassle to go through the program, but it really hasn’t been at all,” said Gus. “It takes a minute of your time to make a big difference in your pocket and for the earth. I would definitely recommend any businesses using disposables to do the program and switch to reusables.”
If we don’t end our throw-away lifestyle now, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Plastic chemicals cause harmful health risks such as cancer, reproductive and endocrine system disorders and its production increases greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
The only way out of this plastic pollution crisis is to stop the contamination at the source. That’s what ReThink Disposable is all about. Since its launch, the program has helped numerous businesses save thousands of dollars and protect the environment just by making the switch from disposable to reusable foodware.
Imagine if every business was a ReThink Disposable business! Imagine if big corporate brands made the switch to reusables. Working together, we can implement zero packaging practices to reduce landfill waste and protect our waterways and marine life from plastic pollution.
Prevent waste before it starts by supporting a ReThink Disposable business and encouraging your favorite restaurant, juice or coffee shop to join the program! Learn more at www.rethinkdisposable.org.