It sounds sustainable, but is it practical?

We've seen some major changes to the downtown Kalamazoo, MI landscape over the past few years-- with many more to come! You do realize the awful new bike lane set up is in preparation to turn all those one ways into two-ways, right?

If Kalamazoo locals aren't complaining about the bike lanes they're sounding off over the lack of parking or business closings. I imagine this new proposal will soon be at the top of Kzoo's complaints.

Via/ Google Maps, Via/ Kalamazoo Reddit
Via/ Google Maps, Via/ Kalamazoo Reddit

Just recently the Downtown Kalamazoo organization asked for resident feedback regarding a possible new sustainable program for downtown area restaurants:

Kalamazoo is currently exploring public interest in the adoption of reusable takeout containers in downtown food establishments...These durable alternatives are vital to enhancing Kalamazoo's sustainability efforts, especially considering that 44% of ocean plastics are attributed to takeout containers.

The organization explains that in the new program the reusable takeout containers would act as currency, essentially; I'd imagine this program to be similar to Michigan's bottle return program which encourages recycling by charging an initial 10 cent deposit.

Has It Worked Elsewhere?

According to an article from MLive it appears Ann Arbor has also explored implementing a reusable takeout container program which found,

...widespread use of returnable takeout food containers could reduce plastic waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and even costs for restaurants – but only if customers follow instructions...Such a switch would break even in climate and energy impacts after four to 13 uses of the returnable containers

But Will It Work Here?

Like I said, I imagine this program would initially get pushback but I believe the Downtown Kalamazoo group's heart is in the right place. With proper education and communication to the public I believe this program could operate successfully here in Kzoo.

Do you think we can do it? Share your thoughts with Downtown Kalamazoo and learn more about the program here.

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