Letter to Legislators
Reusable New England is looking for organizations and individuals to co-sign the letter below to be sent to Massachusetts legislators.
An Act to "Skip The Stuff"
Tell (INSERT NAMES OF LEGISLATORS OR LEGISLATIVE BODY – for example, The Mayor, or The City
Council) that Restaurants and Food Delivery Apps should SKIP THE STUFF!
The undersigned organizations respectfully request that you ACT NOW to pass legislation that reduces the needless
waste when take-out and delivery meals come with utensils, straws, condiments, napkins, and other accessories that
consumers don’t need.
The United States uses more than 36 billion disposable utensils a year. Laid end to end, they could wrap around
the globe 139 times.1
Each year, billions of single-use plastics and paper accessories – utensils, straws, napkins, and
condiments – are delivered to customers who order meals online and don’t need them. Most meals are delivered to
homes and offices already stocked with these items.
The vast majority of these single-use items cannot be recycled. They add to our significant plastic pollution crisis,
littering our streets, parks, rivers, and oceans and clogging already overfilled landfills. Cutting down trees and using
more fossil fuels for items that aren’t even used makes no sense in the middle of a climate crisis.
Due to COVID-19, the problem is getting worse. Market research shows that digital orders increased by 127 percent
in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the same time last year.2
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the
problem. Consumption of single-use plastics has increased by 250-300 percent since the pandemic began, resulting in
a thirty percent increase in waste which is attributed to personal protective equipment (PPE), packaging, and disposable
But when restaurants only provide accessories on request and provide them with delivery orders unless the customer
specifically requests them, they can save money and prevent mountains of trash.
Restaurants and the online ordering platforms should default to no single-use accessories for orders unless
the customer specifically requests them. Uber Eats has already done it! But we need a legislative solution because
delivery apps and technology platforms will come and go and corporate policies change. We need a permanent fix that
ensures that all take-out and delivery orders only provide accessories that the customer needs.
We urge you to ACT NOW and pass legislation that requires restaurants to “ask first” and delivery and online ordering
platforms to provide a customer opt-in for the specific accessories and condiments on the menu of each restaurant.