Reusable Food Containers Coming Soon to a Festival Near You

A California bill aimed at reducing single-use waste at temporary events was signed by the governor on Friday.

(Courtesy photo)

Starting January 2020, vendors at concerts and festivals in California will be able to serve food on reusable containers thanks to newly-minted state law.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 619, brought forward by San Francisco’s Assemblymember David Chiu, on Friday to reduce the single-use food ware at festivals like Outside Lands or Clusterfest. Previously, reusable containers required cleaning at approved facilities, leaving hordes of trash at temporary events.

“Having fun at a concert or festival does not have to result in a sea of trash,” Chiu said on Monday. “I am grateful Governor Newsom saw the need for this new law that will give event organizers the ability to make greener choices and reduce landfill waste.”

Venues have sought to reduce waste by serving drinks or food in compostable containers but many still end up in the landfill — even in counties equipped to compost or recycle. Instead, venues like The Midway have tried other means like switching from plastic water bottles to aluminum while complying with new laws prohibiting plastic straws.

The push to reduce comes as the state of recycling is upended, largely due to China’s refusal to take foreign recyclables.  

“One small step for solutions to the plastic pollution crisis, one giant leap for paving the way for reusables in California!” said Genevieve Abedon, who represents bill sponsor Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition. “AB 619 is a crucial step in reducing our reliance on single-use disposable items that plague inland and coastal communities and ecosystems.”

 

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