Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year with half of this growing number being single-use disposables.
The plastic packaging in food and drink containers leach toxins into what we eat and drink and pollute the air, land and waterways throughout their lifecycle.
Schools and emergency relief facilities, like soup kitchens, often use plastic and other single-use disposables to serve food on a daily basis. Purchasing these products are a financial and waste disposal burden and do not provide clients and students with healthy and dignified meal experiences.
Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable program is helping these facilities convert to reusables by providing expertise in alternative practices and purchasing reusables.
In 2023 alone, NJ’s Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable program has annually helped multiple locations:
- Reduce over 1.7 million single-use disposables from going into landfills, incinerators, or littered on streets or waterways, (14,000 pounds);
- Save nearly $83,000 for emergency relief facilities.
Donations Make a Difference
Please help Clean Water Action provide dignified, healthy food serviceware for people most in need while saving money for non-profits and the environment from harm. Your tax-deductible donation enables Clean Water Fund to make tangible purchases (reusable place-settings, ‘Meals On Wheels’ type containers, dishwashers) as well as provide general support for ReThink Disposable program.
Every soup kitchen, emergency relief facility and school needs different food serviceware and assistance depending on their situation but the below chart represents how your dollars will be spent.
- $50 - 5 Reusable Place Settings (Cutlery, Plates, Bowls) - Partial Conversion
- $250 - 25 Reusable Place Settings (Cutlery, Plates, Bowls) - Partial Conversion
- $1,000 - 100 Reusable Place Settings (Cutlery, Plates, Bowls as Needed) - Small Size Facility
- $4,500 - Commercial Dishwasher
- $10,000 - Commercial Dishwasher and Reusable Dishes for Medium to Large Facility
For more information or interest in supporting this innovative program, contact Marta Young, Clean Water Action's Zero Waste Specialist.
ReThink Disposable Case Study
Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund’s ReThink Disposable program provided Franciscan Charities of Newark with 400 sets of reusable food serviceware to replace single-use disposables. This conversion from endlessly purchasing single use disposables provides clients with a more dignified meal experience.
From an environmental perspective, 936,000 single-use disposables have now been avoided and over 8,000 pounds (4 tons) eliminated from the waste stream on an annual basis. The cost to convert to ReThink Disposable was less than $3,900.
We are appreciative that we won’t only save up to $50,000 every year but we are also moving towards being better stewards of our environment. - Director Melissa Hillier, Franciscan Charities of Newark