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Yelp Launches Green Practices Initiative to Highlight Restaurant Sustainability Efforts, Reduce Plastic Waste

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SAN FRANCISCO—Yelp has launched a Green Practices Initiative to begin surveying consumers and understanding how to better assess the sustainability of a restaurant’s practices. Given the complexity of sustainable food systems and restaurant operations, Yelp is focusing first on the reduction of single-use plastics in restaurants and leveraging what makes Yelp most useful: consumer feedback.

Yelp will begin surveying consumers and collecting data on the use of single-use plastics in restaurants across the United States. Consumers who visit a restaurant’s Yelp page can answer whether or not the business uses compostable takeout containers, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic utensils or offers a discount for bringing a cup or mug for beverages. Yelp will use this data to better understand restaurant behaviors across the country.

To ensure that Yelp’s Green Practices Initiative is informed and scalable in the future, the company is working and consulting with informed partners like Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable, the Plastic Pollution Coalition, the State of California Air Resource Board, The City of Los Angeles Green Business Program, and NextBites in Chicago, among others to better understand what data is already available and how Yelp can help present this information to consumers interested in a restaurant’s sustainability practices.

To do its part in reducing single-use plastics, Yelp is eliminating all single-use plastic utensils, cups, plates and bowls from all U.S. offices by the end of 2019. It is also encouraging Yelpers to bring their own mugs to the Yelp cafe through a program that plants trees on behalf of these eco-conscious employees. Through the BYO-Mug program, Yelp plants about 150 trees each month.

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