Step 2: Require Reusables Before Disposables
Many cities have replaced single-use disposable plastics or plastic-coated paper cups with compostable alternatives, but even compostables are just used once and then disposed. What we need is a stronger move toward reuse over all disposables. Berkeley, Calif., made waves by requiring all restaurants to serve customers with reusable foodservice ware when the customer eats onsite—let’s do the same for city governments: All foodservice ware in offices and at meetings— and ideally at public events whenever possible—should be reusable.
City offices are also fantastic locations for reusable programs for takeout containers and coffee cups such as GO Box in Portland, Ore.; GreenToGo in Durham, N.C.; or Vessel cups in Boulder, Colo., and Berkeley, Calif.