Green To Go
The City's Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Ordinance is also known as Green To Go. Under Green To Go, food and beverages that are either:
- Prepared for immediate consumption
- Taken to-go
Food must be put in containers that are one of the following:
Food businesses must provide collection bins for each type of material used.
- Recyclable materials must be recycled.
- Compostable plastics must be composted.
- We allow plastic marked with a number #1, #2 or #5
- We allow compostable plastics that are BPI certified
- Rigid polystyrene is plastic marked with a #6
- PE plastic lined paper cups and plates
- Styrofoam (expanded polystyrene)
Black plastic containers have been allowed under Green To Go. We are phasing out accepting black plastic containers by the end of 2023 because they are problematic.
- Black plastic containers are trash
- Black plastic containers are not allowed in Minneapolis residential recycling carts because they cannot be sorted for recycling
- Using black plastic containers does not align with the City of Minneapolis Zero Waste Plan goal of reducing waste
We encourage you to stop using black plastic containers. Use clear or white recyclable plastic instead or consider using compostable containers.
Beware of packaging that does not meet Green To Go requirements.
Some products promoted as green, or good for the environment, do not meet Green To Go rules. Packaging with these terms may not meet Green to Go rules:
- Green alternative
Call 311 or the health department to confirm if a container meets Green To Go rules.
Green To Go flyers
Some items do not need to meet Green To Go rules:
- Stir sticks
- Foods prepackaged by the manufacturer, producer or distributor
- Plastic films less than 10 mils thick
Caterers, hospitals, and nursing homes do not need to follow Green To Go rules.
Events and farmers markets
Event food sponsors and market managers are responsible for the collection and handling of to-go food and drink containers at their event or market.
Event food sponsors and market managers must:
- Provide recycling collection bins for recyclable food and drink containers
- Provide organics collection bins if any vendors use compostable plastic food containers
- Have systems in place to send collected materials for recycling or composting
Contact Minneapolis 311 if you have questions. Ask for an Environmental Health supervisor.
More on Green To Go rules:
To report a business that is not following Green To Go rules, contact 311.