Ask for weekly Plastic Free Lunch Days in NYC school cafeterias!

Ask for weekly Plastic Free Lunch Days in NYC school cafeterias!

9 have signed. Let’s get to 10!

Why this petition matters

Started by Cafeteria Culture

We ask NYC Department of Education (DOE) to make Plastic Free Lunch Day a weekly event!

We greatly appreciate that NYC DOE elementary schools are automatically participating in a monthly Plastic Free Lunch Day (PFLD) with the support of kitchen and cafeteria staff.  Lunches should be served without plastic packaging on these monthly days, a huge step towards reducing school waste and taking climate action!  

Now it's time for the next step and more plastic-free action!

We ask NYC DOE to make Plastic Free Lunch Day (PFLD) a regular weekly event - for example, every Pizza day is a PFLD - and to continue to REDUCE ALL PLASTIC PACKAGING as quickly as possible to support NYC's climate, sustainability, and waste equity goals.

Additionally, we urge NYC DOE to implement the following 3 cost saving changes on an institutional-wide scale:

  1. replace single-use condiment packets with bulk service of sauces/dressings (like refillable squeeze bottles)
  2. wrap sandwiches in bulk (put in serving trays with an aluminum foil cover instead of individually wrapped with plastic film)
  3. offer plastic utensils "by request only"

As polluting plastics pile up across the world, they wreak havoc on our environment and health, while adding fuel to the Climate Emergency. Plastic Free Lunch Day provides an excellent opportunity for students and staff to take action right in their school cafeteria.

The Plastic Free Lunch Day program was started by Brooklyn PS 15 fifth graders in Cafeteria Culture's program, who conducted a waste audit and discovered that their lunches contained a significant amount of single-use plastic foodware and packaging.

That one-day, student-driven plastic-free action resulted in the first New York City-wide Plastic Free Lunch Day in May 2022, followed by a commitment from NYC DOE to serve a monthly plastic-free lunch menu day, and now a national Plastic Free Lunch Day USA with large urban school districts across the country, including Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, and San Diego,  joining the action.

One plastic free day leads to another and creates a vision and actionable ideas to move forward equitably and sustainably.

PFLD USA is also an urgently-needed student health intervention. Plastic foodware and packaging contain thousands of toxic chemicals that readily migrate from plastics into food and beverage. 

We ask NYC DOE to continue taking the lead and to ramp up the timeline to reduce plastic packaging and foodware from all student meals as quickly as possible.

9 have signed. Let’s get to 10!