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250 S. 4th St., Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Green To Go

Green To Go Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Ordinance

The Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Ordinance requires food and beverages prepared for immediate consumption and to-go must be placed in packaging that is: 

Recyclable materials must be recycled. Compostable plastics must be composted. The ordinance went into effect on April 22, 2015 (Earth Day). 

Green To Go wordmark.

 *NEW* Green to Go Exemptions end April 22, 2019 

Some products have been exempted from the Green To Go ordinance. The exemption allows businesses to use the products even through they do not meet the requirements of the ordinance.

The exempted products are: 

  • Polyethylene (PE) lined paper hot and cold cups and containers for liquids (soup, etc.), and
  • Rigid polystyrene lids for those containers. The containers are marked with a #6 inside three chasing arrows. 

Minneapolis Environmental Health has determined the product exemptions will end April 22, 2019.

By ending the exemptions in 2019, businesses have time to use up existing inventory. Business also have time to work with suppliers to purchase products that meet Green To Go requirements. This approach is consistent with the educational approach used when the Green To Go ordinance was amended in 2014. 

Green To Go flyers

Informational flyers describe the requirements of the Green To Go ordinance.

FAQs

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Complaints

Contact 311 to make a complaint about a business using a product(s) that is not allowed under the Green To Go ordinance. Call 311 (outside Minneapolis call 612-673-3000) or email minneapolis311[email protected]

Green To Go decal

The Minneapolis Health Department created a decal to recognize businesses that meet Green To Go rules.

The removable decal tells patrons “We use environmentally friendly food containers." The decal also displays:

Green To Go decal

 Confusing packaging

Beware of packaging that does not meet Green To Go requirements. Health Inspectors are seeing products represented as meeting the ordinance, but do not meet it. Some of the products are beige and resemble compostable to-go containers. The symbol on the bottom of the products is a number six inside the chasing arrow triangle. This symbol means the product is polystyrene, which is not an acceptable material under the ordinance. 

Terms such as “green alternative,” “degradable,” “biodegradable,” and “sustainably sourced” are marketing terms. They do not indicate if a product meets Green to Go requirements.

Green To Go requires packaging and containers to be reuseable, recyclable or compostable. Preferred plastics are numbers 1, 2, and 5. Compostable items must be BPI certified or meet ASTM standards D6400 or D6868. If you have questions about whether or not a container meets Green To Go rules, contact your health inspector. To contact your health inspector email [email protected] or call 311 (outside Minneapolis call 612-673-3000).

What is Packaging?

Cans, bottles, or containers used to package food or beverages for immediate consumption including:

Examples of packaging

 Green To Go Product examples of acceptable and non-acceptable packaging

 Red Circle with Line.jpg  Not Allowed

Exemptions

Exempt from the ordinance:

The following items are exempt until April 22, 2019, (Earth Day):

Green To Go supplier list

Need products that meet Green To Go rules? Green To Go supplier list.

The City of Minneapolis does not endorse any company. This list is provided as a resource for businesses needing to purchase products that meet Green To Go rules. The companies listed sell directly to businesses.

Hennepin County assistance

Hennepin County offers free assistance and  Business recycling grants

Free:

Business grants up to $50,000 are available to assist with: 

For more information visit www.hennepin.us/businessrecycling

Hennepin County composting haulers

Find a list of haulers that collect organics for composing on the Hennepin County website here. Scroll down and select, "Organics composting haulers."

Ordinance

Read the ordinance.

Interested in the ordinance history?

A PowerPoint presentation on the history of the Green To Go ordinance.

Residential Organics

Sign up for residential organics recycling

Questions

For questions or to get more information about the Green To Go Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Ordinance contact Minneapolis 311.

Para mayor información sobre la ordenanza o mandato del el empaque ambientalmente aceptable comuníquese con la línea del 311 de la ciudad de Minneapolis.

Yog xav noog lossis paub ntxim txog txoj cai Siv Cov Ntim Khoom Kom Zoo Rau Tej Chaw Puag Ncig (Environmentally Acceptable Packaging), hu tau rau Minneapolis 311.

Wixii su’aalo ama faahfaahin ah ee ku saabsan Xeeraa Weelasha Deegaan‐ahaan La‐Aqbali karo, kala xidhiidh ama wac Minneapolis 311.


Accommodations

Minneapolis Health Department LogoShould you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Last updated Sep 24, 2018

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For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

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