Throw-Away-Free Places (Pilots)

We're piloting Throw-Away-Free Places in venues across America - to help them make the switch from single-use to reuse and engage their visitors around why it's better.

UPSTREAM is thrilled to partner with pioneer organizations across the country working to become throw-away-free. These are iconic venues we’re working with to help eliminate single-use products and engage their customers around why it matters, and why it’s better.

We've developed a tiered approach to help venues, their concessionaires and brand partners:

  • Understand the economic and environmental benefits of going throw-away-free
  • Transition from single-use to reuse
  • Realize the costs, payback and ongoing savings
  • Calculate the ongoing environmental and economic benefits measured in carbon emissions avoided, water saved, waste prevented and decreased costs
  • Tell their story to visitors, the community and the world


We've secured partnerships with the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) which represents 22 AZA-accredited aquariums with over 44 million visitors each year and several concessionaires providing food service to venues. These partnerships have led to pilots currently underway with the New England Aquarium (MA), the Mystic Aquarium (CT), the Anthem Arena (Washington D.C.), and the new Chase Arena in San Francisco (new home of the Golden State Warriors). We'll be developing case studies in 2020 after we've had six months of data collection at each venue.

Why not just switch from single-use plastic to single-use compostables or bioplastics?

We know that brown paper take-out box and the bioplastic fork seem better for the environment. After all, it says “compostable” on them.

But unfortunately, when we substitute one single-use product for another, we’re often out of the frying pan and into the fire. There are big commercial interests trying to harness the public’s outrage over single-use plastics and push it to single-use something else. Products like paper to-go boxes and bioplastic cutlery often require more energy, water and toxic chemicals to produce than single-use plastics. What’s more, they usually don’t effectively compost, and many composters don’t want them because they degrade the value of the compost.

The good news is that reuse wins every time, and we can create systems that get people what they want without all the waste.

For more information on how to become a Throw-Away-Free Place

Please contact Berna Tural at berna@upstreamsolutions.org