For Immediate Release: March 6, 2023
Perpetual and Turtle Island Restoration Network Present Interactive Community Workshops on Bringing A Reusable Foodware System to Galveston
Galveston, TX–Perpetual and TIRN welcome the Galveston community to join us for a meal and to share your perspective on what would make a reusable foodware system work best in Galveston. There will be two Interactive Workshops open to the public at Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, one from 1-4 PM on Monday, March 6 and one from 5-8 PM on Tuesday, March 7. At the workshops, participants will have the experience of borrowing a reusable cup, noting key community locations on a map, and answering questions about their design preferences.
Local restaurant and foodservice business owners and managers are invited to provide their input on how a system could work best for them over breakfast on Tuesday, March 6th from 9:30-11:30 AM at the Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy Ave, Galveston, Texas, 77550.
Community organizations and government representatives are invited to discuss system design decisions over lunch on Wednesday, March 7th from 12-2 PM at the Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy Ave, Galveston, Texas, 77550.
Reusable foodware programs provide ‘foodware as a service’ to businesses: restaurants pay a per use fee for the reusable item, comparable to buying a disposable item. The customer can take a cup or container to go and then return the item to one of many convenient return stations that will be placed around town. A reuse service provider then picks up the used items, takes them to a washing facility to be cleaned, sanitized and inspected, and then redistributes them to local restaurants to be used again. When designed well, the system is economically self-supporting, environmentally sustainable, healthy and safe, and equitably serves all members of the community.
“We believe a reusable foodware system in Galveston could reflect the unique character of the local community, delight users with a better eating and drinking experience, and help businesses manage price spikes and shortages for disposable items due to supply chain disruptions,” said Ellie Moss, Executive Director of Perpetual. “Additionally, reusable foodware systems reduce the amount of waste created, which means less trash entering the environment and a cleaner Galveston.”
Results from the Circularity Assessment Protocol, for which data was collected in December 2022, will be previewed by a member of the Circularity Informatics Lab and TIRN staff will be on hand to share information about how residents can protect local wildlife.
The workshops are free to attend and all community members are welcome. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. More information and links to event registration is available at https://www.perpetualuse.org/rsvp.
Perpetual is a nonprofit launched in early 2022 by a team with a collective 20+ years of experience in the reusable foodware space. Perpetual’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of reuse, starting with foodware in the US. The Perpetual team (perpetualuse.org/team) is led by Ellie Moss, a veteran sustainability and circular economy strategist and facilitator, and Dagny Tucker, founder of Vessel, a reusable service provider that operated for seven years. (Dagny has fully relinquished her ownership interest in Vessel.) The Perpetual team brings a unique combination of knowledge of the reuse space, on-the-ground experience working to scale reusable foodware solutions, systems thinking and solution design skills, stakeholder engagement expertise, and rigorous project management capabilities.
Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN)
For over 30 years, Turtle Island Restoration Network has been a leading advocate for the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. TIRN focuses on grassroots empowerment, consumer action, hands-on restoration, and environmental education while also promoting sustainable marine policies and inspiring consumer change. A crucial cornerstone of TIRN’s work is the Gulf of Mexico program headquartered in Galveston, Texas. Together with volunteers and passionate community members, the TIRN Gulf of Mexico staff fights to eliminate marine debris and provide meaningful environmental education opportunities that inspire consumer change
The Gulf of Mexico program office currently hosts a variety of educational and informative community events that strive to increase awareness and inspire a change in public behavior to offset the impacts of marine debris. These include; beach clean-ups, microplastic citizen science sampling and processing, nurdle patrol, density separator demonstrations for microplastics, reduction and elimination of single-use plastics, balloon busting crew, cigarette butlers and monofilament collection.
Circular Assessment Protocol
Developed by Dr. Jenna Jambeck and her team at the Circularity Informatics Lab at the University of Georgia, the Circularity Assessment Protocol (CAP) is a standardized assessment protocol to inform decision-makers through collecting community-level data on plastic usage. Grounded in materials flow and systems thinking concepts, the CAP uses a hub-and-spoke model to holistically characterize how consumer plastic flows into a community, is consumed, and flows out, either through waste management systems or leakage into the environment. The model is comprised of seven spokes: input, community, material and product design, use, collection, end of cycle, and leakage. At the center, the system is driven by policy, economics and governance with key influencers including non-governmental organizations, industry and government.