ReThink Disposable Save Dollars and the Environment

ReThink Disposable Certified Business Sign for Downtown AlamedaAbout a year after its launch, the ReThink Disposable program is really building momentum — 25 businesses have been certified (18 of them in the downtown district), 13 are in the process of being certified, and 24 more businesses have signed up.

ReThink Disposable helps businesses save thousands of dollars while contributing positively to the environment. The program, developed in partnership with the City of Alameda and funded by the Ocean Protection Council, has a goal of helping 100 businesses switch from disposable foodware to reusable foodware in an effort to reduce the amount of solid waste being added to our landfills.

The ReThink Disposable program recently analyzed the combined accomplishments of five businesses in the program and announced these results:

  • 314,499 single-use items reduced annually
  • 1,976 pounds of waste prevented annually
  • Average annual cost savings to businesses: $1,598

With numbers like these for only five businesses, the numbers will be even more astonishing when the program meets its goal of 100 participating businesses.

Crispian BakeryTaqueria Viva Mexico, and Habanas Cuban Cuisine are wonderful examples of what can be accomplished by completing the ReThink Disposable certification process. Auditors were able to work with staff to make simple changes that reduced annual waste and also resulted in total cost savings to the businesses. 

Crispian Bakery replaced disposable paper plates with reusable plates, replaced disposable plastic cutlery with silverware, replaced wooden stir sticks with spoons, and replaced disposable plastic water cups with reusable cups. These changes resulted in a reduction of 91,250 disposable foodware items that would have ended up into the garbage this year (equivalent to 1,077 pounds). Additionally, Crispian Bakery will be saving $908.00 every year by not having to replenish a stock of disposable items.

Taqueria Viva Mexico and Habanas Cuban Cuisine both replaced disposable straws with reusable straws and provide them by request only. They also ask if disposable sauce cups are needed instead of automatically providing them. Taqueria Viva Mexico has reduced annual waste by 59,313 pieces (approximately 456 pounds) and saves $1,739.00 annually. Habanas Cuban Cuisine reduced their annual waste by 140,199 pieces (approximately 237 pounds) and saves $599.00 annually.

We’re proud to announce that the following Downtown Alameda businesses have been certified with ReThink Disposable:

Angela’s Kitchen
China House Restaurant
Crispian Bakery
Doggy-Style Hot Dogs
Dragon Rouge Restaurant
Habanas Cuban Cuisine
Jonathan’s Sandwich House
Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden
La Penca Azul
Linguini’s Pasta & Vino
Linguini’s Pizza & Brew
Lola’s Chicken Shack
New York Pizza
Speisekammer Restaurant
Taqueria Viva Mexico
The Local
The Pampered Pup
Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream

You can prevent waste before it starts by dining at ReThink Disposable participating businesses. Learn more about the program at www.rethinkdisposable.org.