Palo Alto, CA – Mayor Liz Kniss recognized five Palo Alto restaurants for their completion of the ReThink Disposable Certification process and their commitment to the City of Palo Alto’s Zero Waste and pollution prevention goals. The businesses honored during the Sept. 17 City Council meeting are: Sprout Café, Kirk’s SteakBurgers, Palo Alto Baking Co., New York Pizza, and Gelataio. At the ceremony, the Mayor also recognized three other businesses that are in the process of becoming ReThink Disposable certified: The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center’s Nourish Café, Teaspoon, and The Counter.
During the award ceremony at Palo Alto City Hall, Mayor Kniss highlighted the changes each business made to reduce food-packaging and presented all with a framed certificate. ReThink Disposable’s Program Associate Chris Slafter also spoke about the unnecessary waste of food service packaging and how it pollutes regional waterways and is costly for businesses to continually procure and haul away.
ReThink Disposable, is an award-winning and results-driven program of the nonprofit Clean Water Action, partnering with the City of Palo Alto’s Public Works Department to empower food service businesses to reduce packaging at the source.
Businesses who undergo the ReThink Disposable certification process receive individualized assistance from trained auditors who offer recommendations for cost-saving practices to reduce single-use food packaging. Auditors calculate the annual impacts of recommendations including pieces of packaging and pounds of waste reduced, as well as net cost savings. Participating businesses are currently preventing over half a million disposable packaging items and close to 8,000 pounds of waste each year.
“Palo Alto is a leader in Silicon Valley and the broader Bay Area, and we are enthusiastic about transforming the city by keeping thousands of pounds of waste out of streets and waterways,” said Samantha Sommer, Waste Prevention Program Manager at Clean Water Action. “This public form of recognition is an important way for Palo Alto to demonstrate its appreciation for businesses that are furthering the city’s ambitious Zero Waste goals. We are happy these ‘first adopter’ business participants were recognized and awarded by City Hall, because their leadership will encourage more businesses to make the business and earth friendly choice.”
The event was a milestone in a three-year collaboration between Clean Water Action and the City of Palo Alto to reduce waste and litter and further the city’s pollution prevention goals.