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Truckee is Going Reusable! Here's What You Need to Know

December 7, 2023
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Truckee is at the front of the pack when it comes to mountain town sustainability. Our town approved a single-use foodware reduction ordinance to reduce single-use items like plastic utensils, coffee cups, and straws which fill up trash cans and landfills and inevitably end up polluting our watershed and environment.

What Does it Mean to “Go Reusable”?

Don’t worry, we’ll save you all the nitty gritty details of the eight-page government ordinance! We've distilled the basics into four main components: 

  1. Styrofoam and other polystyrene foams are banned. You won’t find these at any Truckee restaurants or food vendors.
  2. Reusable foodware must be provided if you’re dining on-site. 
  3. “Accessory items” including single-use straws, utensils, condiment packets, stirrers, napkins, cup lids and sleeves, etc. will only be provided upon request beginning Jan 1, 2024.
  4. Businesses charge a 25¢ fee for every disposable cup or food container beginning Jan 1, 2024.

Download a flyer in English and Spanish from Town of Truckee's sustainability department, Keep Truckee Green

25¢ Disposable Cup and Takeout Container Fee Starting January 1, 2024

Starting January 2024, you may notice a new line item on your receipts. Truckee businesses will charge a 25¢ fee for each disposable cup and takeout container. To avoid the charge (and to prevent waste!) remember to bring your own reusable mug or use Truckee’s reusable Green Box for takeout or leftovers. Or choose to dine on-site rather than taking food and beverages to-go.

The 25¢ fee applies to restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, bars, drugstores, and grocery stores. Does not apply to food trucks or special events. 

Styrofoam is Banned in Truckee!

Did you know that back in April 2023, Truckee implemented a ban on the sale and distribution of Polystyrene Foam (e.g. Styrofoam)? These foam products are especially difficult to recover as litter. They easily break into smaller pieces and end up polluting our watershed. The ban is a win for protecting Truckee's natural environment and reducing litter!

Why Truckee Gives a Thumbs Down to Compostable Foodware

It’s a common misconception that compostable foodware is the "green" choice. Just like other types of single-use foodware and packaging, compostables almost always ends up in a landfill or as litter in Truckee's environment. Most commercial composters don’t accept compostable foodware packaging because it doesn’t add nutritional value and may even contain harmful chemicals. And when it sits in a landfill, compostable foodware yields no greenhouse gas reduction benefits compared to conventional plastics. With all of this in mind, Truckee decided the best option is to reduce all disposables and encourage the use of REUSABLE products instead.

Learn more about compostables from Keep Truckee Green.

How You Can Help - Use Your Reusable Mug, Bag, Container, and Water Bottle!

It’s really easy to join the movement and reduce waste in Truckee. Remember to bring your coffee mug to coffee shops, ask your Truckee lodging provider if a reusable Green Box is available for takeout dining, carry your reusable water bottle everywhere you go, and keep reusable bags handy for all your shopping needs.

Forgot something at home? If you need to purchase a reusable water bottle, bag, or coffee mug, head to almost any Truckee shop for a high-quality reusable that doubles as a souvenir.

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