Plastic Pollution Resources

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Plastic Pollution Restaurant Card - Steel Straw

What Are the Impacts of Plastic Pollution?

Plastic Pollution has devastating impacts on our people and planet.

Every day, communities around the world are negatively affected by petrochemical factories producing single use plastics.

This pollution poisons the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.

It travels from the point of consumption, to street curbs, through storm drains, and into our oceans where it then takes a plastic beverage bottle 450 years to decompose.

In fact, an estimated 14 billion lbs. of trash, much of it plastic, is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.

This means that nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists today!

With stakes this high, it’s important that establishments take serious steps towards eliminating single use plastics, and utilize products and materials that are reusable, or marine degradable.

Over 100 California Cities have adopted ordinances against polystyrene, and over 28 California Cities prohibit Polystyrene straws, lids, and utensils.

Fortunately there are many great options to consider, and programs that can guide your progress!

Feel free to read our tips on how to go plastic free in your everyday life!

How Can Your Business to Go Plastic Free?

Here’s a list of plastic service wear products to consider replacing with reusable or marine degradable materials!

  • Straws
  • Utensils
  • Stirrers
  • Lid Plugs
  • Lids
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Trays
  • To-Go Containers
  • Cups

What Products Should Restaurants Use?

  • Everyone loves metal straws.
  • Avoid PLA/PHA Bio Plastic. These don’t effectively biodegrade, and cause confusion in recycling facilities.
  • Look first towards reusable service wear products including metal or ceramic condiment containers, and stainless steel straws and cutlery.
  • For disposable service wear products, utilize paper based items such as paper straws, and to-go containers made from natural fibers. Examples of natural fibers are:
    • Paper
    • Fiber
    • Wood
    • Bamboo
    • Pulp
    • Sugarcane
    • Wheatstraw
    • Food / Edible (Pasta)

    How to make sure it’s "Upon Request."

    Customers need to request disposable straws and utensils -- so don’t put straws and utensils on display!

    Add a "plastic free" menu option for all of your food items, so your to-go and delivery customers can choose not to order plastic cutlery. Just like adding, "extra cheese," or, "medium spicy," options, a simple, "plastic free," option lets your customers order exactly what they want.


    How to Train Your Staff to go Plastic Free?

    This is a simple addition to your existing Customer Service training for your staff:

    • Ensure that customers who are dining in are served their food and beverages in reusable cups and dishes -- not plastic nor styrofoam.
    • Only serve straws upon request. This is now State Law in places like California.

    How to Train Your Customers:

    • Offer discounts and rewards for reusable items. For example, "$0.25 Off Coffee If You Bring Your Own Tumbler".
    • Sell reusable items like mugs or metal straws in your marketplace and by the cash register


    Other Resources:  

    • Sustainable Works
      • Sustainable Works activates sustainable behaviors through education and interactive events. Free programs available for students, residents, and businesses. 
    • Zero Waste Company
      • Learn about how they guide and assist clients in reducing the environmental impacts!
        • LA based company that offers reusable pouches and carrying cases for your everyday eco-gear. 


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