Tips for Restaurants

Reduce Food Packaging

Food wrappers, containers, napkins and straws consistently rank at the top of litter retrieved in community and coast litter pickups.


Top 10 Most Found Items

The most frequently observed items of foodservice litter include food wrappers, containers, beverage cans, napkins and paper products such as straw wrappers, according to a 2009 Keep America Beautiful study conducted by Action Research. The Ocean Conservancy also lists some foodservice packaging among the top 10 items found in its beach clean-ups (Keep America Beautiful).

17% of Food Packaging Is Disposed as Litter

Nearly one in five of all disposals (17%) ended up as litter according to researchers. Most of this litter was done intentionally, such as dropping the litter (54%) or flicking/flinging the item(20%) (Keep America Beautiful, 2009).

Photo by Waferboard - CC2.0

Things You Can Do

Do a Waste Stream Audit

The National Restaurant Associationís Conserve Program provides this easy way to assess your waste using a simple spreadsheet

Use Multiple Receptacles

The closer a trash receptacle is to the customer, the more likely they are to use it. Go ahead and place multiple receptacles in your facility and parking lot that are easy to use and clearly labelled.

Download the Guide to Reducing and Managing Litter

The National Restaurant Association, Foodservice Packaging Institute, and Keep America Beautiful have created a toolkit to help stop litter and littering behavior in and around restaurants. Make litter cleanup a normal task. Download the Toolkit.

Check Your Trash Pickup

Verify that your trash pickup services do not spill trash when they come by. Train employees and check to be sure they do not drop trash when working or taking trash out.

Beautify Your Parking Lot

Beautify parking lots and keep border areas tidy. Research shows that people try to keep clean spaces clean.

Identify Problems and Get Help

If litter drifts onto your property regularly, work with Keep America Beautiful, Keep Mobile Beautiful, and community groups to identify the source of the problem.

Suggest a tip
Commit to making a Difference Commits
Goal 50



It can be good business to go green and there are models and good ideas already in place

Green Paper Products

Green†Paper Products
Sells 100% Biodegradable & Compostable

ECO Products

ECO Products
Cups, Containers, Straws, Utensils

Food Waste Alliance

Disposable Cups, Cutlery and Dishware from Sustainability at Work section of City of Portland, Oregon website has a great guide for restaurants thinking about making the switch

Other Options