The Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Ordinance requires food and beverages prepared for immediate consumption or taken to-go must be put in containers that are one of the following:
Recyclable materials must be recycled. Compostable plastics must be composted.
Green To Go flyers
Informational flyers describe the requirements of the Green To Go ordinance.
- Green To Go Flyer - English
- Green To Go flyer - Spanish
- Green To Go Flyer - Chinese
- Green To Go flyer - Hmong
- Green To Go flyer - Korean
- Green To Go flyer - Somali
Cans, bottles, or containers used to package food or beverages for immediate consumption including:
- Serving trays
- To-go containers
Examples of packaging
The Green To Go ordinance does not allow polystyrene products to be used:
Rigid polystyrene - plastic marked a number 6 inside three chasing arrows
Beware of packaging that does not meet Green To Go requirements.
Often the products are beige and resemble compostable to-go containers. Some products have a symbol on them of a number six inside three chasing arrows. This symbol means the product is polystyrene, which is not allowed under Green To Go rules.
Some packaging has descriptions that make it seem like the packing meets Green To Go rules. Packaging with these terms may not meet Green to Go rules:
- Green alternative
Green To Go requires packaging and containers to be reusable, 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.
Exempt from the ordinance:
- Knives, forks and spoons (they are not packaging items)
- Straws (they are not a packaging item)
- Foods prepackaged by the manufacturer, producer or distributor
- Plastic films less than 10 mils thick
- Catering companies licensed by the City of Minneapolis, another city or the state.
- Hospitals and Nursing Homes
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 vendor use compostable plastic food containers
- Have systems in place to send materials collected for recycling or composting
Contact Minneapolis 311 if you have questions. Ask for an Environmental Health supervisor.
Contact 311 to make a complaint about a business using a product that is not allowed under the Green To Go ordinance.
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:
- City of Minneapolis logo
- Green To Go symbol and website
Hennepin County assistance
Hennepin County offers free assistance and Business recycling grants.
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. Scroll down and select, "Organics composting haulers."