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Reducing Disposable Foodware

Single-use foodware items like plastic and paper cups, plates, and utensils are prevalent in daily life. They serve a very short useful life of just minutes, while their impact on human health and the environment is significant and long lasting. Replacing single-use foodware with durable reusable alternatives is essential to preventing the environmental problems (waste, litter, GHG emissions) that disposables contribute to.

Whether you are a caterer, a mobile food vendor, or run a restaurant, café or institutional kitchen, minimizing the use of disposable foodware can help you reduce waste and costs, improve customers’ dining experience, prevent litter, and keep local waterways clean.  


DeliverZero Ambassador Program

Residents can help bring reusable take-out foodware to restaurants in Alameda County by becoming an ambassador for StopWaste grantee DeliverZero.

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Reusable Foodware Mini-Grants (up to $2.5K)

Partnering with non-profit ReThink Disposable, StopWaste helps businesses and institutions transition to reusable foodware and introduce practices that prevent waste. In addition to hands-on support, food service operators can get up to $2,500 toward the purchase of reusable foodware.

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Reusable Foodware Success Stories

Watch testimonial videos from food businesses in Alameda County that have made the switch from disposable food service ware to reusables.

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AB 1276: Single-Use Foodware Accessories Available by Request Only

California law AB 1276 requires all retail food facilities and food delivery platforms to provide single-use foodware accessories and condiments upon request only.

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Providers of Reusable Foodware Systems & Services

Looking for a reusable foodware system provider to partner with on a grant project? Start with this list of vendors specializing in reusable foodware systems, operations or technical assistance, vetted by StopWaste through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process.

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Reusable Foodware Safety Guidelines

Food businesses can find tips for safely using reusable foodware in this compilation of best practices developed by StopWaste in consultation with the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health.

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Model Ordinance for Food Service Packaging Reduction and Reuse

The Model Ordinance for Food Service Packaging Reduction and Reuse provides a menu of policy options for Cities in Alameda County to consider adopting as part of their efforts to address single-use plastics and food packaging waste issues.

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Reusable Foodware Infrastructure Grants (up to $25K)

The next grant cycle will open in January 2025

StopWaste offers grant funding for innovative projects that eliminate single-use foodware and instead develop local infrastructure to make reusable foodware accessible to businesses and consumers. 

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Compostable Food Service Ware

If disposable food service ware is your only option, select compostable items certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). For additional guidance consult StopWaste’s Guide to Purchasing Compostable Food Service Ware.

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