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Tel Aviv starts to phase out single-use plastic in schools

Kindergartners and first to third graders who stay on for lunch to get multi-use crockery, cutlery kits; kindergartens to be equipped with dishwashers

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Disposable spoons. (Youtube screenshot)
Disposable spoons. (Youtube screenshot)

Some 20,000 kindergartners and first to third graders in schools in Tel Aviv and Jaffa who stay on for lunch will be given kits of multi-use, washable cutlery and tableware by the end of the calendar year, as part of a new municipal plan to reduce single-use plastic in the local education system.

All kindergartens — several dozen at the start — will also get dishwashers so as not to overload staff with washing up.

The municipal company charged with operating after-school networks, which provide hot lunches and afternoon activities after formal education has ended, will also ensure that contracts with suppliers for the next academic year provide that food be delivered in stainless steel containers.

Deputy Mayor Tzipi Brand said, “This is a complex step for the municipality, which has taken several months and required coordination between many bodies, including the education authority and health services, to provide a safe and healthy solution for children without overloading the staff.

“Over and above the environmental value, this decision mainly has educational value. Our children worry about the future of the world in which they are going to grow up,” added Brand.

Shirli Rimon, director of the education authority, said the project was one of many ideas for promoting sustainability in the city.

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