Image by Matt Baxter

ZERO  WASTE  BUSINESSES 

The Azulita Project's Straw Free Flagstaff community campaign retired in 2022, but we're still passionate about helping small businesses reduce their reliance on single-use plastic! We've gathered some of the best resources out there to help restaurants, cafés, and other businesses transition to zero waste.  

Americans use hundreds of millions of drinking straws and single-use plastic items daily, and many of them are not disposed of properly. Straws are among the top 10 litter items found worldwide. No types of plastic straws or single-use sachets are recyclable in Flagstaff, which means that each one used and disposed of ends up in the landfill or as litter.

 

The Azulita Project encourages businesses to offer straws and other single-use items like utensils, plastic bags, lids, condiments, and plastic containers "by request only," and to provide compostable non-plastic alternatives as needed. 

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Businesses benefit by going zero waste.

  • Lowered overhead and operational costs. By implementing a “by request only” policy, you avoid purchasing items that nickel and dime your business, like straws, plastic utensils, plastic bags, disposable cups and lids.

  • Increased customers and customer loyalty. Businesses who are committed to reducing their environmental impact  benefit financially, growing at 3 times the rate of businesses who do not. In a variety of options, customers choose environmentally-friendly establishments and are willing to spend more at them.

  • Boost employee morale and retention. Employees want to feel like they are making a contribution while earning a paycheck, and those who find meaningful work are more productive and take fewer sick days.

RESOURCE  LIBRARY

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Beyond Plastic's “HOLD THE PLASTIC, PLEASE” guide provides all the information restaurants need to reduce their plastic waste.

"Beyond Plastic's FREE guide includes practical real-world advice for front- and back-of-house, including where to purchase reusable take out containers, options to collect and wash reusable dishware and to-go ware, where to find funding, calculate costs, communicate these changes to customers, environmental impacts, and more!" 

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Debris Free Oceans' REUSABLES CALCULATOR estimates the cost savings and environmental benefits your business will obtain by using reusable instead of disposable products.

"The most effective way to eliminate both environmental and economic waste is by not creating it in the first place. Switching from disposable to reusable products prevents pollution and saves money." 

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Plastic Free Restaurants "eliminates petroleum-based, single-use plastic from restaurants and schools by subsidizing the purchase of reusable replacements" and is building a database of plastic-free restaurants across the country.

Their website shares awesome resources like a Reusable Food Service Products database, Reusable Food Serviceware Guide, and Single-use Foodware Database.

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Whether you’re hosting a conference, business meeting or event, waste is an issue. It might sound impossible, but our free resources will help you move toward a Zero Waste Event.

Visit out Zero Waste Events page for tips on how to plan your event, communicate your zero waste intentions, earn your Zero Waste Event badge, and more!