Three weeks ago I put out a trash bag at a bus stop. Today I went back to replace it. I was pleasantly surprised that 10 pounds (rough guess) of trash was in the bag and not on the ground.
What if every disposable item from a fast food restaurant was the responsibility of the company, not the customer?
Or, what if fast food restaurants paid five cents for every disposable item sold to offset cleanup costs?
How would this change the restaurant’s and the consumer’s behavior?
I would suspect consumers would pay more if they choose to buy disposable tableware. I would also suspect some restaurants might start offering reusable tableware. Perhaps consumers would choose to use reusable items more often. Perhaps there’d be less trash on the roads.
Is this idea so radical? In 2007, right here in Beaverton, Oregon, a law was passed requiring stores that use shopping carts to pay a $50 fine for not retrieving errant shopping carts. Is that such a big step from requiring restaurants to pick up their trash?
When you walk down a street and pickup 10, 15 or 20 McDonald’s cups and wrappers, you start to wonder. What if there is a better way?