Here in New Jersey, we love our local restaurants and shops. Let’s take a minute and appreciate them just a little more because they are helping Clean Water Action take on a huge environmental issue: single-use disposables.
Single-use disposables are all those paper cups, plastic straws, shopping bags, styrofoam containers, and items that are designed to be used once and then thrown out. These are contributing to global environmental issues like islands of plastic floating in the ocean and landfills leaching toxins into our soil. Our trash from Montclair all ends up in the incinerator in Newark, and our neighbors bear the burden of poor air quality. Our waste management systems just have no way of handling the amount of trash we produce in a way that won’t harm the environment in some form or another.
Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable program is partnering with Montclair Center BID, the South End Business Association, and individual restaurants and businesses around Montclair to cut down on single-use disposables!
Skip the Straw!
Restaurants are starting to serve straws only when requested. In the U.S. we use 500 million straws every day. Those straws are one of the most common marine debris items littering our beaches. Thank you to Pig & Prince, Vital, Toast, Tinga Taqueria, Villalobos, Local Coffee, StuffedBurger, Plum on Park, and Pure Pita for making those numbers go down!
Tinga has cut down on straws by 25%, Vital by 60%, and Pig & Prince by around 90%.
Bring your own cup!
In the U.S. we use 120 billion disposable cups each year. Starbucks uses more that 8,000 paper cups a minute. Local Coffee in Montclair is challenging our to-go cup culture by creating a community atmosphere that invites customers to slow down and drink-in (with a real cup). They offer a discount to encourage all to-go customers to bring your own reusable travel mug!
Java Love is also committed to reducing plastic consumption. When you bring your own travel mug, they’ll fill it up for the price of a small! And they’ve decided to switch to reusable utensils instead of plastic. As the weather warms up, buy one of their reusable straws and use it for your iced coffee all summer long.
The zero-waste, reuse movement is growing but we could use your help. We are looking for volunteers to help with outreach and ReThink Disposable events in the Montclair area. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
Stay tuned for more ReThink Disposable participating businesses in Newark, Jersey City, Millburn, and Clifton and for upcoming zero-waste events.