Oct. 18, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer introduced a bill yesterday that aims to reduce the amount of plastic food utensils in New York City.
The legislation would prohibit take-out and delivery services from providing plastic utensils unless a customer expressly asks for it.
The bill includes plates, bowls, knives, forks, spoons and napkins.
Food establishments could only provide non-reusable utensils by request.
The bill states that the Department of Consumer Affairs would be in charge of issuing violations.
Van Bramer said that the overuse of plastic cutlery has a negative impact on the environment.
“We must reckon with the harmful effects that everyday plastic utensils have on our environment and do everything we can to prevent irreparable harm to our oceans and our planet,” said Van Bramer. “The status quo of including plastic utensils in all food orders by default is unnecessary and unsustainable.”
Van Bramer believes that by adding a simple opt-in feature to food orders, the city could reduce the amount of plastic utensils and also reduce their impact on the environment.
It is estimated that over 40 billion non-reusable plastic utensils are used annually in the United States which leads to the pollution of waterways and streets. Van Bramer argues that the utensils are easily disposable and so they are often thrown onto the street or into a body of water, which endangers wildlife.
To the person posting as Restaurant owner, Woodsider and Oh Lilly: I don’t believe you own or ever even ate a restaurant…In the restaurant my family owns in Astoria we respond to many Yelps and in a response to somebody who would gripe about a regulation we would point it out in our response as being a matter beyond “our control”, case closed. What exactly are you crying about? Obviously not cost because you stated: “each item costs the restaurant less than a penny.” Funny in my families place this would equate to a couple of hundred dollars a month…You obviously do have some type of academic fault as one of the people posting to your ridiculous comments has suggested.
If you’re at home and go for takeout you dont need em. If you’re at work, you do or you could keep utensils at work. Whatever.
I own 2 restaurants, we need this stuff. The customers can use it or not. If you dont add it customers will complain. Right away, too. Get on yelp, this stupid restaurant didnt give napkins, didnt give utensils. Ect. I agree some plastic souffle cups can be replaced with little condiments packets but basically we need these thingsmac and save the planet dont know shit about this.
Hundreds of dollars a month in savings? Each item costs the restaurant less than a penny. What minimal savings they get will be lost exponentially by the fines.
Restaurant Owners – are you for real ? This is actually a cost reducing measure for restaurants..Most people who order take out and (or) pickup and bring it home don’t use the plastic utensils provided in the bag they just toss them or throw them in a drawer. Have you ever tried to eat a dumpling with a plastic fork? This measure will save restaurants hundreds of dollars every month.
Another photo-op for Jimmy and of course another way to crush small business with fines. GrubHub (the leading delivery service in the area) already asks people when they place their order if they want utensils included. Over 98% of orders that come into the high volume restaurant I’m involved with people say “Yes”. By imposing this they get to fine businesses who do not specifically ask. You have become nothing but a joke JVB…a complete fraud.
@shut up already – Go back and reread the article. The article clearly states the utensils and napkins are available upon customer request.
@Manuel – Why should the government get involved? We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of…..Get an education!!
@Restaurant owners – Restaurants could always substitute plastic utensils more efficient and something less harmful to marine life and oceans and something without carcinogens. Does Fox News or the oil industry pay you to do their bidding, it is a market economy you know?
Restaurants need these supplies. Go find something important to do
What about when we go to a catered event does that mean we bring our own silverware & glass ware ? Oh yeah and napkins too ?
Why does government have to get involved in this matter? This should be between the owner and customer. If a worker mistakenly puts a spoon in your bag does the restaurant get fined? Progressives could be dangerous.
Like the bike lanes that some folks can’t stop obsessing over?
Did you read the article? Of course not. You wouldn’t have even had to read far – it was the second paragraph. This involves take out and delivery services.
Oh thats a good idea.
I guess ill eat with my hands .
Ill just wipe my hands on my shirt.
How about reusable metal utensils like the ones I used in school.
this is he wastes time on? wow. i guess other real issues are not very important to him.
don’t worry he will be removed from office soon and will be working in the library
So what are children in school supposed to use to eat their breakfast and lunch?
Finally first time after several years as a public servant something he has proposed that makes sense. Probably got fed up of the plastic forks/utensils from Chinese take-out ending up on his sidewalk in front of his house at Sunnyside Gardens.
Good first step.