Information for Businesses

Bring it Charlottetown

If you’re a food service business owner or manager – what do you need to know about the Bring it campaign?

The Bring it campaign challenges individuals to pledge to bring their own reusable items rather than using single-use disposable versions of the same item and we will be providing the reusable item they pledge to bring, free of charge. The reusable items we’ll be giving away at the booth include:

  • travel mug
  • cold drink tumbler
  • cutlery set including: form, knife, spoon and chopsticks
  • metal straw including cloth carrying case and cleaning device
  • water bottles
  • bag

Be prepared to see more of these items in your business with an increase in requests for refills! 

It is important for businesses to be on board with their customer’s bringing it more often, and have a discussion with their staff about how to accommodate customer’s requests for refills rather than providing single-use disposable items. Does your business have a policy in place to accommodate requests for refills? If not, now is the perfect time to do it. 

A note from Environmental Health and Safety on refilling beverage containers:

Environmental Health supports food premises allowing for the refilling of reusable beverage containers. The food premises must have an acceptable written procedure for the refilling of reusable beverage containers that prevents cross-contamination from the reusable container. Items to consider in the procedure include, but are not limited to: handling of the reusable container, rinsing, refilling, stirring, and hand washing. Consideration must also be given to when the food premises may refuse to refill a reusable beverage container. 

NOTE:  Where an acceptable procedure is in place, Environmental Health does not require the use of a disposable cup to refill the reusable beverage container.

Regardless of the type of cutlery, cups and lids, or straws your business supplies to its customers, using less is the best for the environment. Here are a few tips for reducing single-use plastics and supporting customers in their efforts to bring it: 

1) Don’t assume. Ask customers if they need disposable cutlery with their take out order before tossing it in the bag. Often times they will be taking their order back to work or home where they will have access to reusable cutlery and don’t need a disposable set. 

2) Out of sight, out of mind. If you have drinking straws at your business keep them behind the counter and use them only when requested by the customer. Very rarely are straws necessary but sometimes people will mindlessly reach for them if they’re on the counter, taking them out of sight will cut back on unnecessary use of these items. Make sure your staff aren’t automatically putting them in drinks, this practice creates tonnes and tonnes (literally!) of unnecessary single-use plastic waste. 

3) Take stock. What other single-use plastic items could your business  cut-back on or find alternatives for?  For example, are you offering plastic stir sticks, and individual coffee creamers at your coffee counter? Could you switch to a more sustainable alternative? 

The City of Charlottetown is working on developing a business recognition program for businesses that are making efforts to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste that is generated through their operations. Consumers are more aware and concerned than ever before about the amount of single-use plastic that is present in our society. In our recent survey 89% of respondents stated that they would be more likely to shop at a business that appears to be making efforts to reduce their single-use plastic consumption. 

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