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School Will Pilot a New Reusable Containers Program 

NEWTON, MA: Newton North High School is fighting plastic pollution by piloting a new reusable container program for schools. Students will have the option to opt-in for a reusable take-out container, rather than disposable food packaging, when purchasing food in the cafeteria. They can then return it to the school’s designated bins where it will be washed and sanitized by cafeteria staff for reuse. The reusable containers, manufactured by Preserve and managed by the local company Recirclable, are 100% recycled plastic, NSF certified, and BPA free. 

The Newton North Sustainability Team, who have been engaged in this project, said: "We are so excited to help Newton work towards a more sustainable future. We hope that we inspire other communities to join us." 

“I’m super excited about this pilot program. Students will be able to easily 'check out' the container like a library book. This will eliminate thousands of pieces of disposable packaging from the waste stream and hopefully change behavior as well,” noted Amber Schmidt, who is coordinating Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable campaign across New England

“Our open lunch policy posed a challenge for switching to reusable containers. Our new program allows students to take food outside but requires checking containers out and back in, fostering awareness and the behavior change needed for more reusable programs. We're hopeful this can lead to a culture shift at our school regarding plastic waste." said Matt Delaney, General Manager of Food Services Whitsons at Newton Public Schools

“We’re so excited to partner with Newton North High School! We’re already working with several area restaurants, so students and families have the option of taking the containers home and then returning them to a participating business using the Recirclable app. We are building a whole new culture of waste-free food service in the Boston area,” stated Margie Bell, a founder of Recirclable.  

“We are very excited to see the schools taking on this effort”, said Judy Jacobs, Executive Director of Green Newton.  “Reusables are a vastly superior solution with a much lower environmental and carbon footprint than single use plastics.  We have been working with Recirclable in Newton where several restaurants have adopted their service.” 

Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable campaign works with local restaurants, schools, and institutions to help them switch from single-use disposable food ware to durable reusables. Participating partners are collectively preventing over 275,000 pounds of waste every year, and restaurants report savings of between $3000 and $20,000 annually. 


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking, and people power to the table.

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