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New York City looks to limit what's provided with to-go orders

The bill passed on Thursday is expected to save foodservice operations money. Mayor Adams has not revealed whether he'll sign it.
plastic cutlery
Soon to be available in NYC only upon request? / Photo: Shutterstock

The New York City Council has approved a bill that prohibits foodservice operations and delivery services from including condiment packets, napkins, disposable utensils and paper plates in to-go orders unless the items are requested.

Proponents of the measure, known as the Skip the Stuff Bill, won the support of local restaurants in part by emphasizing the potential savings. The legislation is similar to a law already in effect in Los Angeles that has been projected to save restaurants from $3,000 to $21,000 per year.

Eating places offering takeout or delivery would be expected to develop a means for fielding customer requests for the single-use products. Some delivery platforms already provide a way for users to indicate if they want the items provided with their orders.

Violators would be subject to fines of up to $250 for a third offense. A warning will be given in lieu of a fine for infractions discovered before July 1, 2024.

The law would take effect 180 days after being passed. Mayor Eric Adams has not revealed whether he intends to sign the bill into law.

The measure is the latest attempt by New York City to offset the amount and type of garbage that restaurants generate. Plastic bags are already banned and drinking straws can only be provided upon request.

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