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    Reusable tableware becomes the norm for events and in administration | City of Geneva

    The use of single-use tableware generates waste in the public domain and in the buildings of the City of Geneva. It generates littering which requires strengthening the human and financial resources allocated to cleanliness. Carried away by the watercourses or the wind, this waste affects natural environments. Furthermore, the disposable tableware has an environmental impact during its production and its disposal, which is disproportionate to its single use and its short duration of use.

    Reducing waste at source

    After giving up the use of single-use plastic products in 2020the City decided that theuse of reusable tableware would be part of the conditions for granting authorizations for events on public property. This must also be used within the administration, particularly in community halls, sports centers, and museums. Several events organized by the City (Music Festival, Festi’terroir, Christmas Market, August 1st Festival, etc.) offered exclusively reusable tableware in 2023, leading to a significant reduction in waste.

    A pragmatic approach

    In a pragmatic approach, certain activities subject to authorization in the public domain, which sell takeaway drinks or dishes intended to be consumed immediately (food trucks, ice cream parlors, etc.), are not subject to this decision. However, waste reduction measures will be required in the event of authorization or allocation of a location (for example acceptance of reusable containers brought by consumers, use of reusable tableware for drinks and food served on the terrace). Pilot projects for the use of reusable tableware for this type of structure will also be carried out on a voluntary basis.

    Adaptation period before implementation

    In order to allow the different stakeholders to adapt to this new standarda transition period of 12 months will be applied until April 1, 2025. There single-use plastic tableware remains banned.

    Alfonso Gomez, Mayor in charge of sustainable development, explains that the City of Geneva “intends to improve the cleanliness of spaces and places open to the public, reduce the quantity of waste produced and lower the costs linked to waste treatment. This will also make it possible to achieve commitments made within the framework of our Climate strategy and Cantonal waste management plan“. The City of Geneva thus joins the cities of Basel and Bern which have already introduced this measure with satisfaction. In addition, it anticipates the upcoming entry into force of the cantonal law on waste.

    More detailed information is available at

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