In the US we have been entrenched in a culture of consumption, with little consideration for what waste disposal entails, for decades. In fact, the convenience of disposable products and foodware has long been celebrated; in the 1950s a Time article coined the term “throwaway living,” naming that sentiment. But in recent years, cultural awareness of the impact of our society’s reliance on disposable products has come a long way. This shift is visible in our conversations, media, and policy – from California’s ban on plastic grocery bags to the countless news stories on microplastics. Still, there is a long way to go to create a truly circular economy. Does your community have room to grow in its zero waste efforts?
The Ecology Center has long been a leader in the movement away from a throwaway culture and towards a circular economy, having fought California’s switch from refillable glass bottles to plastic bottles with the state bottle bill in the 1980s. In 2019, we built on this legacy by championing a first-of-its kind policy to reduce disposable foodware, Single Use Foodware and Litter Reduction ordinance. Now, we’re sharing how the Ecology Center, along with an interdisciplinary team of passionate advocates, got it passed.
With more and more individuals, communities, businesses, and even nations taking a stance against single use disposable plastics, we are excited to provide some guidance through the launch of our Disposable Foodware Policy Toolkit. Our hope is that by sharing our theory of change, campaign structure, and media kit, other communities will replicate and iterate on our campaign in order to win similar disposable foodware reduction policy and ultimately move us away from throwaway culture and towards a circular economy.
The toolkit includes:
- How we built a coalition and campaign
- Ordinance language & City Council documents
- Social media & press kits
- Resources to launch your own campaign