Fostering Circular Solutions for Restaurant Take Out Containers

 Middletown’s Reusable Takeout Container Pilot - 2023

Connecticut is in a trash crisis.  With the closing of the Hartford incinerator, more trash is being sent out of state. Disposal costs are increasing and as trash travels further away, there are increased environmental concerns.  The City is working on many programs to reduce waste, recycle more and divert and compost food scraps to try to control costs and reduce environmental impacts.  

In 2022 the City of Middletown conducted a Coffee Cup Passport program with support from The Rockfall Foundation.  This educational campaign encouraged customers to use their own cups when ordering take out drinks at local coffee shop.  One of the outgrowths of this program was the request for restaurants to provide reusable containers on site and offer a system for customers to use and return them.

In the fall of 2022, the City of Middletown was awarded an EPA Healthy Communities Grant to work with the Center for Eco Technology to pilot a program with Middletown restaurants to use reusable take out containers.  

Press Release Announcement 

The Sierra Club has noted that single use takeout containers are one of the top contributors to the waste stream; with American’s disposing over 180 billion single-use takeout packaging products annually.  Emerging industries support and foster reusable takeout containers, reducing environmental risks and improving our human health. 

Participating restaurants include Perk on Main, Story and Soil & It Only Natural Restaurant. The Public Works and Health Departments have collaborated with CET to develop this guidance document for restaurants using reusable takeout containers.  

The program ran from June - November 2023.  The final report is available here.  

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