California: Stop the Plastic Pandemic and Make Foodware Accessories Upon Request

As the global pandemic continues, restaurants and small businesses in California are struggling to make ends meet, but businesses, environmental organizations, and individuals are coming together to support a common sense initiative that reduces single-use plastic and saves restaurants money.

Join Plastic Pollution Coalition, Habits of Waste, and the Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, and 35 organizations in asking Governor Gavin Newsom to sign an emergency executive order to make foodware accessories upon request. This means restaurants, caterers, and food delivery systems within the State of California would #SkipTheStuff and refrain from including single-use dishware, utensils, napkins, condiments, straws, or other foodware accessories when preparing or packaging food to-go or for delivery. Add your name now.

Food delivery apps Uber Eats and Postmates have already switched their default setting to make plastic cutlery an “OPT-IN” feature, available only upon request. Postmates released data that since joining the #CutOutCutlery campaign in October 2019, they saved 122 million packs of plastic cutlery from entering the waste stream. This equates to $3.2 million dollars in savings for restaurants.

“With a stroke of a pen Governor Newsom could enact an Emergency Executive Order for the State of California, saving restaurants money and making them more resilient while keeping needless plastic waste from overflowing our junk drawers and landfills and from entering our environment, waterways, and ocean,” said Jackie Nuñez, Program Manager at Plastic Pollution Coalition and founder of The Last Plastic Straw.

“If successful, our hope is that a temporary order will not only provide stopgap relief while we await a permanent legislative solution, but it will also provide meaningful metrics in support of the case for such legislation,” said Christopher Chin, Executive Director at COARE. “Similar to offering water only upon request in a drought situation, we need to stop forcing unnecessary and unwanted plastic upon consumers when we’re overwhelmed with waste. What makes this case even more important is that it equates to an unnecessary expense for already struggling businesses.”

The advocates maintain that if California leads this charge, the remaining food delivery applications that have not yet changed their default setting will be obliged to make the change nationwide and globally.

Join our global Coalition.