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Tips for Reuse in Austin
Consejos para la reutilización en Austin

Reusing items not only helps reduce waste but also conserves resources and saves money. By giving products a second life, we can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly community. Are you restaurant-affiliated and interested in the B.Y.O. movement? Scroll down to access the Austin food codes!

Reutilizar artículos no sólo ayuda a reducir el desperdicio sino que también conserva recursos y ahorra dinero. Al darle una segunda vida a los productos, podemos contribuir a una comunidad más sostenible y respetuosa con el medio ambiente. Está usted afiliado a un restaurante y está interesado en el B.Y.O. movimiento? Desplácese hacia abajo para acceder a los códigos de alimentos de Austin!

Reusable Containers:

Bring your own reusable containers for leftovers when dining out. This helps reduce single-use plastic and Styrofoam waste.

Support Eco-Friendly Restaurants:

Choose restaurants that prioritize sustainability and use eco-friendly packaging. Supporting these businesses encourages more restaurants to adopt similar practices.

Explore the Austin Reuse Directory:

The Austin Reuse Directory is a fantastic resource for finding places to donate, recycle, or purchase second-hand items. It includes local businesses and non-profits dedicated to reuse.

Reusable Straws and Utensils:

Carry reusable straws and utensils in your bag. Many restaurants in Austin support this initiative by offering discounts for customers who bring their own.

Donate and Shop at Local Thrift Stores:

Organizations like Goodwill Central Texas and the Salvation Army accept a wide range of items, from clothing to furniture. Shopping at these stores supports local charities and reduces landfill waste.

Participate in the Zero Waste Block Leader Program:

Become a community leader in promoting zero waste. This program provides tools and support to help your neighborhood adopt sustainable practices.

The Benefits of Reuse

Environmental Impact:

Transitioning to reusable products can significantly reduce waste. Nearly 1 trillion disposable food service items are used annually in the U.S., creating nearly 9 million tons of waste, equivalent to the weight of 25 Empire State Buildings. By adopting reuse practices, 841 billion disposable items can be avoided annually, preventing 17 billion pieces of litter and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and resource extraction​ (Upstream)​​

Austin Food Codes!

For Refillable Food Containers:

  • Container must be designed and constructed to be reused.

  • To prevent restaurants from giving customers a to-go container, customers will have to order food for dine in and then transfer to their own container.

For Refillable Beverage Containers:

  •  Beverage is shelf-stable

  • Design of the container allows for effective cleaning at the establishment or at home

  •  Facilities for rinsing the container prior to refilling are available at the establishment

  • Container may only be used by the same consumer

  • Container must be refilled either by the food employee or filled by the consumer if refilling is a contamination free process

In summary, while the state of Texas and the city of Austin generally support the use of reusable containers in many food service settings, specific limitations exist for mobile food units and temporary food establishments to maintain high standards of food safety.

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