The City of Alameda partnered with Clean Water Action’s Rethink Disposable program on an Ocean Protection Council grant funded project, called “Unpackaging Alameda”, through the June 2019.
The ReThink Disposable team worked with restaurants and food businesses across town to implement cost savings practices designed to reduce disposable packaging and transition to washable reusables. Most of us know reusables as real dishware, glasses and silverware that one can wash and reuse. No more plastic. CASA supported Clean Water Action through its ReThink Disposable Ambassador program (local volunteers visiting Alameda restaurants to inform them of the program) and ReThink Disposal Youth program (students from our high schools conducted litter audits and raised awareness about single-use disposables). Together, they reached out to the over 300 food businesses on the island to over free assistance and financial support to purchase reusable food ware.
As of June 2019, over 80 restaurants signed-up for the program and received guidance on how to “unpackage” their operation to stop waste before it starts. Twenty-one businesses were officially certified! Using the data from the 21 Alameda businesses plus packaging reduction metrics from past ReThink Disposable participants, Clean Water Action projected that the “Unpackaging Alameda” Project will eliminate 6,199,840 pieces of single use food ware annually, preventing 32.34 tons of waste, and collectively saving businesses $139,231 a year.
EXAMPLES OF RESTAURANTS THAT HAVE TRANSITIONED TO WASHABLE RESUABLES: