In an effort to reduce waste and create a higher standard for the industry, Café Yumm! has announced that it will now provide disposable single-use items only when requested. The restaurant company went beyond the recent sustainability ordinances that affect its Portland and Eugene locations by rolling out an extensive new policy to the entire system.

Café Yumm! guests are now asked and must confirm if they need a straw, utensils, or paper bag when placing takeout, dine-in, drive-thru, and delivery orders. Although Café Yumm! sources single-use takeout items made of compostable materials, this new policy further aligns with the company’s triple bottom line philosophy to balance the environmental, social, and economic concerns of operating its restaurants.

The distribution of single-use items was recently restricted by the City of Eugene, including drink stirrers, utensils, straws, individually packaged condiments, extra cups and lids, and containers for sauces served on the side. Additional regulations in Portland, Seattle, and throughout Oregon—where other Café Yumm! restaurants are located—were less restrictive. However, Café Yumm! decided to develop a Eugene-compliant waste reduction policy for all 23 Café Yumm! restaurants in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Café Yumm! has been recognized as an innovator in the fast-casual category for sustainability programs over the last two decades. From installing solar panels and electric car charging stations, to removing trash cans from dining rooms and instead offering bus tubs for sorting washable serviceware, food scrap compost, and recycling, the famous Northwest restaurants place eco-friendly business practices at the forefront.

“While convenience items are often included in takeout orders, our new policy will reduce the amount of unnecessary waste going to the landfill. Together with our guests, following this policy is another major step toward addressing the environmental impact of our restaurants,” says Rico Lea, Director of Restaurant Operations at Café Yumm!.

Café Yumm! became one of Oregon’s first Benefit Companies in 2014 and has received numerous awards for environmental values.

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