NEW YORK (PIX11) — Say goodbye to napkins, forks, knives and spoons with those food orders.
Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday signed a bill prohibiting restaurants and food delivery platforms from providing utensils, extra eating containers, condiment packets and napkins for take-out and delivery orders. Customers can still get those items if they specifically ask for them.
“Intro 559-A allows New Yorkers to ‘Skip the Stuff’ when ordering take-out or delivery, preventing unused plastic from ending up in our landfills, and making our city greener for generations to come,” Mayor Adams said.
A similar change was put into place in 2021. Restaurants and other businesses are not allowed to hand out single-use plastic straws unless customers ask for them.
The plastic utensils rule is set to go into effect in 180 days. Restaurants and delivery services that violate the bill will be fined. Violations will be met with warnings instead of monetary penalties until July 1, 2024.
New York City Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch noted the change will have a big impact going forward.
“Nearly every New Yorker has it: the dreaded drawer full of old takeout forks, spoons that accompanied forgotten soups, and chopsticks of days gone by,” she said. “And you know what’s worse than having that plastic take up space in your home? Having it sit for centuries in a landfill — a silent memorial that will outlive the restaurants it came from by hundreds of years.”
Zach Koseff, the owner of Maxette Café & Bar in Manhattan, said not automatically having to hand out the utensils will save him about $800 a month.
“If they don’t want it, I’d gladly not give it to them. It gets thrown out,” Koseff said. “For me it’s just an extra cost.”