MCS joins the “Bring Your Own Container” movement and you can too!

MCS Sustainability Committee
Have you noticed this new sticker on the MCS front door recently? 
Awarded by the local It’s Easy Being Green non-profit, an Upper West Side affiliate of Beyond Plastics and BYO-U.S. Reduces, this sticker is part of a global campaign aiming to:
  • Reduce single-use disposable ware and plastic packaging which negatively impact the environment at every stage of their life cycle (from production through end-of-life).
  • Reduce costs, including trash-related costs such as trash removal and trash collection, for participating organizations and the department of sanitation.
  • Promote participating organizations’ efforts.
  • Strengthen the community by encouraging various stakeholders to work together towards such goals.
  • Contribute to making BYO a habit and a cultural norm in the community.
MCS becomes the first school to join the network of participating organizations in the Upper West Side, in recognition of its track record of zero waste initiatives. Among such initiatives are the annual Farm Festival and Farm Outing Day, special events hosted at MCS, as well as the daily family-style lunches served in the classroom, which are all run entirely on reusables.

Plastic waste has been skyrocketing in the US over the past decades, and only an insignificant minority of the 35+ million tons of plastics collected in 2018 through municipal solid waste in the US has been effectively recycled. The vast majority (nearly 27 million tons) was landfilled, while another 5+ million tons was incinerated.

Among all such plastics in municipal solid waste, the container and packaging category had the most plastic tonnage, at over 14.5 million tons, in 2018 alone.

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency

Rethinking, refusing, reducing the use of single-use containers and utensils, and reusing existing ones, are relevant solutions to this problem. The “BYO Container” initiative contributes to reducing the use of single-use plastics, and their devastating effects on the environment, on all living species, as well as on human health.

How to support the BYO movement:
  • Encourage your child to pack reusables every Friday, instead of single-use plastic containers or packaging.
  • Be a role model and bring your own reusables next time you attend an event at MCS.
    Attending an event where Manhattan Country Jam will be sold? Don’t forget to return your empty glass jar to get a $1 discount on your next order!
  • Encourage all families to bring reusables when organizing parent-run events under MCS’ auspices.
  • Support local businesses which participate in this campaign (see list below)
  • Let other businesses know it’s important to you that they give customers a choice to use their own containers/utensils, and that they’ll save money too!
  • Start a BYO-US Reduces group in your neighborhood. Visit “Get Started – Start a Group for Your Local Area” to guide you through the process.
  • Support legislation aiming to lift obstacles to BYO, including this new bill introduced by Shaun Abreu (NYC 7th district Councilmember, representing Washington Heights, West Harlem and areas of the Upper West Side) which will allow attendees to enter sport venues with a reusable beverage container.
Participating organizations in the Upper West Side:

Some big chain cafés and restaurants are slowly starting to adopt BYO practices (Starbucks recently announced it is now accepting personal cups brought in by customers, for instance), but below are some of the early adopters local cafés and restaurants who have fully embraced the BYO movement:
For further reading:

Anyone in the MCS community can join the Sustainability Committee!

If you are a parent, guardian, faculty or staff member and are interested in joining,
email us at:
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