In an effort to reduce waste, Mayor London Breed and city environment officials have launched a program that incentivizes restaurants to invest in reusable foodware and utensils.
The Commercial Reuse Program will provide $500 to 200 dine-in restaurants to transition away from single-use foodware for more sustainable practices.
Enrolled businesses will work with the San Francisco Environment Department to assess their current practices and receive assistance on how to switch to reusables, including how to incorporate washing and bussing into their restaurants.
SF Environment said the switch to reusables cuts a restaurant’s costs by eliminating the need to continuously buy single-use foodware and lowering refuse rates.
“Our restaurants are the heart and soul of San Francisco,” said Tyrone Jue, Acting Director of SF Environment. “By going green and saving with reusables, this program proves that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand.”
The program builds off a pilot program launched in 2019, which supported 120 businesses as they switched to reusable dining systems. Environmental officials said the program “achieved remarkable financial and environmental results,” with 90 percent of program participants saying that they will continue to use reusables after the program.
Breed said the program coincides with the city’s goal to reduce solid waste 15 percent below 2015 levels by 2030.
“We all share the responsibility to advance our goals for climate health and resiliency, and while San Francisco leads the nation in sustainability, there’s still a lot of work we must do,” Breed said.