On February 1, 2023, NYC Mayor Adams signed INT 0559 into law. The bill had previously been passed by the NYC Council on January 19.
Int. 0559-2022, requires all 3rd party food delivery apps (like Seamless, etc) to let cutomers choose if they want napkins, condiments, or utensils with their order. Similarly, restaurants would be required to allow customers to choose whether they recieved all those extra items when ordering over the phone, in person, or through the restaurant's website. The default is that the customer will not recive none of these extra items. Goodbye drawer full of plastic utensils and soy sauce packets!
Plastic utensils are one of the most commonly littered items. Plastic litter starts on NYC streets, ends up in storm drains, creeks, rivers, and beaches, and ultimately flows into the ocean. Once in NYC’s waterways it can choke and harm wildlife. Plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, is consumed by wildlife, and eventually threatens human health through tainted seafood and drinking water.
Further, the manufacture of plastics—made of petroleum and other fossil fuels—and their transport, contributes to climate change and pollution. Petroleum and plastic manufacturing infrastructure is overwhelming located in communities of color and poor neighborhoods, unjustly degrading the health of these New Yorkers.
Plastic litter also costs the city and taxpayers money through additional transport and disposal costs.
The NYC Chapter worked as part of the ReusableNYC coalition for three years to pass this bill. Surfrider staff Matt Gove leads the coaltiion. The NYC Chapter testified at hearings, tabled at events, sent in postcards from the public, showed up at rallies, shared an action alert, and posted to social media multiple times. Learn more on our blogs about this bill's history.
Artist credit Instagram: @calvert_ayers