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Please note that this is a tentative schedule and items are subject to change.
Facing the multiple compliance challenges of eliminating trash inputs to stormwater, and mounting heaps of waste that can no longer be exported for recycling, local governments may find salvation in enacting policies to reduce single food and beverage packaging. But there are many obstacles to promoting reuse in food service. The costs to food businesses is a primary concern. Samantha Sommer from UPSTREAM will present the latest information on how business innovations that can help cities and school districts are going reusable and saving money.
The potential burdens on customers are also a concern. Is it reasonable to charge customers for take-out disposables and expect them to haul around a bag full of containers and cups for to-go? This session will emphasize the need to accelerate new and innovative systems that make reusables for take-out more accessible to customers. Dagny Tucker, CEO of VesselWorks, will showcase their innovative reusable cups system being piloted in the Bay Area.
In this session, Miriam Gordon, UPSTREAM's Policy Director, will talk about the how the policy model developed in Berkeley in 2019 is being iterated and innovated all across the country in ways that address focus on the realities of food service uring the COVID-10 pandemic. Patrick Tallarico will describe how the City of Palm Springs is moving forward on a foodware reducion policy during the pandemic.
Miriam leads UPSTREAM’s program to make throw-away a thing of the past. She leads UPSTREAM's policy initiatives and is launchingreusable foodware pilot programs in the Bay Area.
She has been a leading California advocate helping to advance local and state policies that
reduce plastic pollution at the source. She has previously worked with local, state and federal
agencies implementing pollution prevention and water quality programs, including technical
assistance to reduce industrial plastics discharges and support clean boating.
Miriam holds a JD Degree from Vermont Law School and was an undergraduate at Vassar
UPSTREAM is leadiing the development of reusable foodware ordinances across the country. Since Berkeley enacted its forward-thinking Disposable-Free Dining ordinance in January 2019, five cities in California and the City of Vancoucer have enacted similar measures. UPSTREAM is catalyzing similar initiatives in the SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Boston, and Honolulu. With each new policy, we are learning how to navigate hard questions, like how to ensure that businesses aren't financially whipped, addressing the growing online and app based delivery systems, addressing the needs of disadvantaged and disabled customers, and determining what types of disposable foodware will be acceptable.
In this session, participants will learn about:
Samantha brings years of experience in program development and implementation, specializing in zero waste, community outreach, and behavior change. Before joining Clean Water Action in 2014 she implemented an AB 341 project developing recycling outreach and education programs for commercial businesses and multi-family dwellingsfor the City of Santa Monica and served as an Adjunct Professor in Recycling and Resource Management at Santa Monica College. Samantha is a CRRA Certified Professional in Sustainable Resource Management, holds a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and a Masters in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis.
Launched in 2012, ReThink Disposable has been developed a winning model of technical assistance for cities that produces measurable waste reduction results and saves food businesses money. Local jurisdictions that have implemented or are considering reusable foodware policies are uniformly turning to ReThink Disposable to provide the technical assistance needed to help businesses comply.
In this session, ReThink Disposable will present the variety of compliance assistance services it now offers to local government facing the need to comply with waste diversion, organics, and trash / stormwater regulations. ReThink Disposable will present recent successes in transitioning the Palo Alto school district to reusable dining, unpackaging 80 businesses in the City of Alameda, and recent progress unpackaging food businesses in Los Angeles. We will demonstrate how reducing single-use foodware in local businesses can reduce litter, packaging, and trash and save businesses money.
Vessel is Dagny’s latest venture but she is no newcomer to bringing ideas to fruition. She built her first business while still a university undergraduate and went on to executive level business and not-for-profit appointments that have traversed five continents and represent two decades of experience in strategy, management, sales and government and community engagement. She teaches at Parsons The New School for Design, was formerly the Managing Director of Strategic Global Affairs for New Hope Natural Media and Executive Director of the Peace Initiatives Institute.
Vessel is the most successful reusable cup system in the landscape of take-out beverages to date. In this session, participants will hear about the successful pilots launched in Boulder and Berkeley and new pilot programs on the way. Founder and CEO, Dagny Tucker, will showcase Vessel's tech-enabled reusable cups for customers that provides customers with a convenient reuse system and businesses with instant feedback on positive impacts. Vessel is the only service with 24/7 street side return kiosks. As of January 1st, Vessel offers customers in Berkeley a free reusable alternative to paying 25 cents for a disposable cup. This is the kind of complementary approach (policy initiatives plus innovative alternatives) that is likely to have the biggest impact on consumer behavior change.
Patrick oversees implementation of the City’s many sustainability initiatives that include a robust recycling program, the current transition to a renewable energy focused Community Choice Aggregation, water efficiency and turf conversion projects, greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, and projects to enhance walkability and biking in the City of Palm Springs. In the last year, he has had a particular focus on researching and developing a draft ordinance to reduce disposable food ware and waste from single-use plastics. He coordinates regularly with a City Council-appointed Sustainability Commission, neighborhood organizations, and business associations to better understand community needs and interests and he reports periodically to the City Council on new initiatives and accomplishments. Prior to joining the City of Palm Springs in 2019, Mr. Tallarico served as a consultant for federal environmental and natural resource programs often serving as a convenor and facilitator for multi-stakeholder initiatives such as EPA’s America Recycles Day Roundtables and Workgroups, an international Sustainable Materials Tracking initiative, a national meeting on sustainable materials management in the building sector, and an international dialogue for the G7 on sustainable materials management. Mr. Tallarico holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution and a B.S. in Engineering & Public Policy.
The City of Palm Springs has been developing a new ordinance to promote reusable food ware and reduce single-use plastic waste. We were poised to present the ordinance to Council in March, but the COVID response derailed those plans. The ordinance features were finally presented to Council in July and, based on their overwhelming support, the City is going to be pursuing a comprehensive ordinance to address this important issue. Join us to hear about what we learned during the development process, the features of our ordinance, feedback to date from stakeholders and residents, and planned next steps.