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The Dirty Truth About Disposable Foodware

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Single-use disposables are products used by restaurants and food vendors to serve ready-to-consume food or beverages, and restaurants spent $19 billion on them in 2016.


That same year, we estimate that 561 billion foodservice disposable items were used in the US, becoming a total of 4.9 million tons of waste.

We conservatively estimate that it cost over

$1 billion to manage foodservice disposables in the U.S. in 2016; roughly $42 million in New York City alone. Improperly managed foodservice disposables further confer a significant economic, social, and environmental cost.

Download the full report here

Download the Excel data model here

Be part of the solution

Vote with your meals!

We can all help make reusables the new normal and accelerate the transition to the disposable-free restaurant meal future.

Create Enabling Conditions through Policy

Citizens, organizers, restaurant owners and policy-makers can work to pass enabling policies that support the adoption of reusables and circular economy infrastructure.

Make Using Reusables a No-Brainer

Reusables service companies, meal delivery services, entrepreneurs,  funders, and accelerators all have a role to play in making reusable products and services accessible to all.

Implement Large-Scale Pilot Projects

Anyone can start, join, or support a large-scale demonstration of the viability of reusables in his or her city and use it as a model to inspire others to do the same.

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