Responsible Purchasing Network

Supply Chain Plastic Packaging Reduction Project

The Plastic Packaging Reduction Project seeks to assist public agencies in reducing plastics packaging from its supply chain by providing case studies, best practices, packaging product alternatives, and implementation materials. This project is a collaborative effort between the Cities of Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and the Santa Clara County Watershed Management Initiative in consultation with the Responsible Purchasing Network. The Project aspires to expand the network of cities who are asking their vendors to share in the responsibility of reducing packaging waste to help meet Water Quality and Zero Waste objectives.

Plastic packaging including foam continues to contribute to most cities’ solid waste streams and is a pollutant found in nearly every Bay Area creek. It is ubiquitous and persists in the environment, posing water quality and wildlife health issues. It is also a recurring hindrance to water quality agencies—many of which partner with zero waste programs programmatically—in achieving California Bay Area Municipal Regional Permit requirements of reducing trash by 100% by 2021.  

How to implement:

Tiers of Participation Based on Resource Availability
Use this project’s materials in the way that best suits your agency’s available resources, time, and interest in this project. This memo from project staff to the Santa Clara County illustrates suggested tiers of participation so that agencies of any size and interest level can participate.

Project Status
The City of Palo Alto has incorporated these requirements into its purchasing documents and is sending letters to its vendors notifying them of the requirement. The Cities of Sunnyvale and San Jose are on track to implement components of this project in 2013.

For Word and Excel versions of the above documents and general project information, contact:
Julie Weiss, City of Palo Alto
Karen Gissibl, City of Sunnyvale
Linden Skjeie, City of San Jose