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Franciscan Charities, located in Newark, New Jersey serves hot lunches five days a week to the most vulnerable. The organization’s founding is based on the belief that each person should have a warm, welcoming place to find nourishment and to be treated with dignity and kindness.

Before partnering with Clean Water Fund’s ReThink Disposable campaign, Franciscan Charities used all disposable single-use foodware, spending thousands of dollars every month. The garbage generated from the single-use disposables was costly, from excess garbage bags to the expense of hauling away the refuse. After working with the ReThink Disposable team, Franciscan Charities switched to providing meals on exclusively reusable foodware, honoring their community with more dignity.

These operational changes resulted in the elimination of 8,779 pounds of trash from the local landfill and incinerator, every year. Ultimately, reusables have helped break the cycle of poverty by redirecting critical funds needed to support client care. 

Changes to serviceware for less waste and more savings:

  • Polystyrene #6 clamshell (two sizes) to Reusable Corelle glass dishes
  • Poly-coated paper soup cup and lid to Reusable Corelle glass bowl, eliminated lid
  • Poly-coated paper hot cup, polystyrene #6 plastic hot cup lid to Reusable glass mug, eliminated lid
  • Polypropylene (#5) plastic fork, spoon, knife to Reusable stainless steel utensils
  • LDPE #4 plastic wrap (around cutlery) to eliminated
  • PET #1 plastic water bottle to Reusable polypropylene #5 plastic cup

The Bottom Line:

$47,973 total annual net cost savings
936,000 disposable items reduced per year
10,750 pounds of annual waste reduction

We are appreciative that we won’t only save up to $50,000 every year but we are also moving toward being better stewards of our environment.

Melissa Hillier, Director of Franciscan Charities of Newark

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