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Disposable products are an environmental threat at every stage of their life cycle: it takes fossil fuels and other resources to produce and transport them, and they create pollution that imperils water sources, wildlife, and human health. They are also expensive: California municipalities spend over half a billion dollars annually to clean up waste and litter on city streets. We need a cultural shift away from single-use items.

ReThink Disposable, an award-winning program of Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund, promotes this shift by helping businesses dramatically reduce or eliminate single-use disposable food and beverage packaging items.

With a grant from the California Ocean Protection Council, ReThink Disposable partnered with the City of Alameda to create a model for “unpackaging a city.” Vibrant, coastal, and sustained by a nucleus of long-standing and well connected local businesses, Alameda, California was a perfect fit for a pilot project that would model a durable, transformative source reduction plan to cities around the world.

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ReThink Disposable Case Study | Hang Ten Boiler

Alameda, CA based Hang Ten Boiler hosts many dine in and to go customers, all hungry for their Hawaiian, Asian fusion, and Cajun style seafood dishes. After making the switch to all reusable in-house dining foodware - accounting for the costs of hiring a new dishwasher and water - Hang Ten saved $3,988 each year.
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What the Unpackaging Alameda Project Means For The Future Of Source Reduction

Over the course of the project, our team trained 27 volunteer ambassadors, 10 student interns, and 24 litter survey volunteers who analyzed disposable food packaging found on Park Street in Alameda before ReThink Disposable intervention. Outside of our interaction with businesses, we developed relationships with members of local government and leaders of community groups.