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New Mpls. Takeout Container Rules Go Into Effect On Earth Day

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Wednesday is Earth Day, and new rules on restaurant takeout packaging will go into effect in Minneapolis.

The city says the ordinance will require restaurants, grocery store delis and food trucks to use recyclable, compostable or reusable packaging for food or drinks meant for immediate consumption.

These include plates, to-go containers and serving boats. However, plastic-lined plates and bowls are still OK -- even though they aren't recyclable – until 2017.

Businesses aren't being forced to get rid of their noncompliant containers, the city says. Instead, they can use the non-recyclable packaging until their current supply runs out. After that, they'll need to use the proper packaging.

So what's this mean for consumers?

The city is asking them to clean off the new to-go containers before they're put in recycling bins. If left unclean, they'll be treated as garbage.

What if a restaurant isn't following the new protocol?

Consumers are then asked to talk to a manager or call 311 so city officials can look into it.

The city says it has $50,000 in business grants to help restaurants improve their recycling programs.

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