In-House Reusable Foodware
Food vendors must provide reusable foodware for customers dining in
EFFECTIVE: January 1, 2024
WHO IT APPLIES TO: restaurants, food service establishments, coﬀee shops, bakeries, bars
DOES NOT APPLY TO: (1) food trucks or special events; (2) disposable paper food wrappers, aluminum foil food wrappers, paper napkins, straws, paper tray or plate liners, non-plastic stirrers, cocktail sticks, and toothpicks, or pre-packaged food packaged outside the food facility
- New restaurants or other food service establishments seeking a permit from the Town must demonstrate ability to comply with adequate dishwashing capacity
- Grant funding is available to purchase reusable foodware and dishwashing equipment
- Businesses can apply for a one-year hardship exemption due to hardships reaching compliance
- What products must be reusable?
All foodware provided for in-house dining must be reusable, including plates, cups, bowls, and utensils. The products that are not required to be reusable include disposable paper food wrappers, aluminum foil food wrappers, paper napkins, straws, paper tray or plate liners, non-plastic stirrers, cocktail sticks, and toothpicks, or pre-packaged food packaged outside the food facility.
- What if my business does not have a dishwasher?
Businesses can receive up to $1,000 in grant funding to cover purchasing, installing, or permitting a new or upgraded dishwasher or dishwashing equipment. Businesses may also use a three-compartment sink to clean dishware. All dishwashing must meet Nevada County and State Environmental Health Code. If a business is having a hardship with complying, they can apply for a one-year hardship exemption. Waiver applications will be available in January 2023.
- How will my business afford to purchase reusable dishes?
Businesses can receive up to $500 in grant funding for procuring reusable foodware, including plates, cups, utensils, bowls, etc. Limited-service restaurants who provide reusable foodware are estimated to save $4,000 per year from eliminating the need to purchase disposable foodware. Grant information will be available in January 2023.
- Does this requirement apply to food trucks and special events in Truckee?
Temporary food facilities (food trucks) and special events are not required to use reusable foodware. Keep Truckee Green is exploring logistics to allow for these types of vendors to have dishwashing capacity and provide reusable dishes.
- How is reusable foodware more environmentally friendly when you consider water usage for dishwashing?
Reusable foodware uses less water than using disposable alternatives. The largest water use actually occurs when extracting resources and manufacturing of disposable products. Generally, disposable foodware requires more water to produce than reusables, especially when comparing the large volumes of water required for growing bio-based plastics (e.g., corn). The main water use for reusables occurs in the dishwashing phase, which are greatly reduced with the use of high-efficient commercial dishwashers. In a study for Starbucks, ceramic reusables reduced water consumption by 64% over the entire lifecycle compared to the disposable paper cup. Using 500 paper cups consumes nearly 370 gallons of water, while using and washing one ceramic cup 500 times consumes only 53 gallons of water.