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Earth Month In Action: Moving Seattle Venues to a Circular Model System

SPU and Reuse Seattle are Partnering to bring Reusable rCups to Live Music venues.

Building upon the successful existing system in Seattle of collecting recyclables and compost, a new frontier is on the horizon for Seattle – Reuse. As more is being understood about climate change, carbon footprints, and greenhouse gas contributors, the common current model of ‘make, take, waste’ for service ware, in particular, is unsustainable. Reuse Seattle, public-private partnership among the City of Seattle, the city’s major sports and entertainment venues, small and medium-sized restaurants and businesses, PR3, and a growing list of new partners, is poised to create practical solutions and standardized systems to help our City’s businesses and residents move from single-use to reusables. Reuse at scale is an extraordinarily potent climate solution, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions at every step from packaging to post-consumption.

At SPU, we continue to assist businesses and the community with tools and resources to recycle better and compost more. But we recognize that in order to address the significant changes necessary to reduce climate impacts we need to move away from the single use packaging model of ‘make, take, waste’ and transition into circular model systems.

There are many entrepreneurial companies who have developed services and systems for food service businesses to consider as a substitute for the single-use packaging marketplace. These services include durable reusable cups and food containers that can be used hundreds of times over and over. Reusables are washed after each use in commercial wash facilities with specific temperature and cleaning chemistry to ensure cleanliness and sanitization.

Beginning this summer in 2022 the first of its kind reusable cup system will start up at a number of live music venues in Seattle. An industry leading company, called rCup, will provide services to replace all single-use cups, executing the logistics of collection and cleaning of all cups used by patrons at several entertainment establishments. A partnership of venue sites is through the group WANMA Washington Nightlife & Music Association.

SPU and Reuse Seattle are developing a range of tools to help launch a reusable packaging program in Seattle, alongside our community of current and potential Reuse Seattle partners:

  • Reuse service providers
  • Venues and institutions
  • Restaurants
  • Reuse fans
  • Marketing and promotional partners

Learn more about how SPU is making everyday investments in our planet.