If I were to design a policy initiative, it would be that the sale of disposable plastic food-ware items and plastic bags would be prohibited. This policy would apply primarily to restaurants and grocery stores. It seems that a large volume of plastic waste would be composed of disposables such as plastic-ware, containers, and bags, so eliminating these things would be a big step toward waste reduction. The issue with this policy is that I can not think of an alternative that would be put in place instead of plastic food-ware. For bags and containers, they could be made from paper products but this would contribute more to the deforestation, which is already a major problem.
One option could be that the dining culture be reformed so that it becomes mandatory and normal for consumers to bring their own take-out containers and silverware. This could work a lot like the movement to wean consumers away from disposable plastic water bottles in favor of reusable water bottles.
I wonder how sustainable it would be for food-ware (forks, spoons, knives,etc) to be made from the wood of fast-growing trees. If tree nurseries/plantations could be created specifically to raise trees for foodware, then this might offset the concern about deforestation.
As far as bags go, there would be no option for consumers to use or purchase plastic bags, so they would either have to buy paper bags or bring their own bags to hold their items in. I think that it would be sustainable for grocery stores especially to adopt the model that the Save-a-Lot grocery store uses. Save-a-Lot doesn’t offer grocery bags but they provide boxes that are left over from their food packaging that shoppers may use to hold groceries.