Mountain View restaurants that would ditch disposable service ware for alternatives could save money and the environment, and an organization has partnered with the city to help get them started.

ReThink Disposable has partnered with the city of Mountain View to provide technical assistance to restaurants that participate and is offering up to $300 per restaurant to switch to reusable utensils, cups, plates and bowls.

Those restaurants would also receive technical assistance from the organization to assess their current use of disposable items, research and appropriate alternatives.

ReThink Disposable says that 67 percent of street litter in the Bay Area comes from single-use food and beverage packaging. Most of that trash will end up in waterways.

The environmental organization has partnered with over 250 businesses and several municipalities around the Bay Area to replace single-use service ware with reusable items, which it says are more sustainable.

Restaurants that make the switch could save between $3,000-$21,000 per year. That is after accounting for labor and water expenses associated with reusable service ware.

ReThink Disposable also said that using “real” service ware “elevates the dining experience,” and may attract more customers who want more planet-friendly options.

The city of Mountain View said in a news release that this partnership is part of the city’s Zero Waste Plan measures to reduce the use of disposable food ware and divert material from the landfill.

Adopted in 2019, Mountain View’s Zero Waste Plan established a goal to divert 90 percent of the city’s waste from landfills by 2030. It currently has a waste diversion rate of 78 percent. Encouraging more of its restaurants could help the city achieve that goal.

ReThink Disposable is a program of Clean Water Action, a national nonprofit that operates to organize grassroots groups and campaigns to elect candidates to work to solve environmental problems. It aims to prevent waste before it starts by working with local jurisdictions, businesses and consumers to inspire a cultural shift away from using single-use packaging.

Interested businesses can email ReThink Disposable or phone 415-369-9260 to get started.