Zero Waste Arlington has partnered with the Town Day Committee to reduce single-use waste at Town Day, Saturday, Sept. 23, when it comes to both food and drink -- and thus are working with a handful of food vendors expected to be present that day.

They are encouraging visitors to refill their own reusable water bottles for free at the "Arlington on Tap" water truck. In November 2022, the town implemented a retail ban on single-use plastic water bottles less than 1 liter. This bylaw aims to encourage a cultural shift, hoping that residents will bring reusable water bottles with them, thereby eliminating the purchase of single-use plastic bottles.

In addition, they also hope to reduce the waste from meals eaten at the event that day by 10 percent, noting that, historically, more than 2,500 meals usually are served at Town Day in single-use takeout containers. Thus there is a parnership with specific vendors who have committed to providing takeout food in reusable containers to participants who sign up for the :Reduce Single-Use" pilot program; they are the Pie Palace & Man Made Chili  booths from First Parish UU ChurchThrive Juice CafeFattoush and Punjab.

Details of the "Reduce Single-Use" pilot program:

    • Sign-up (required, as limited spots are available).

    • Pay a $5 refundable deposit via Venmo or cash (only at Town Day).

    • Hopefully become one of the first 50 depositors, who will receive a free travel utensil set.

    • Pick up token(s) from the Reduce Single-Use! Town Day booth.

    • Purchase food from participating vendors; present token(s) to receive food in reusable container(s).

    • Enjoy the meal(s) and then return the container(s) as directed to receive the deposit back.

 The "Reduce Single-Use" pilot program is the latest of Zero Waste Arlington’s efforts to reduce plastic waste locally. Others include the expansion of the Arlington on Tap water refill station network, the 2022 single-use water bottle retail ban and the 2019 polystyrene ban.

The Town Committee is working to reduce textile and organic waste in Arlington as well.

More information is available at or Facebook or Vimeo.  

April 2, 2023: We are what we DON’T eat: Environmental impact of food waste


This news announcement based on information from Amy Speare of Zero Waste Arlington was published Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023.