No More Plastic Silverware for Takeout

Nothing is more indulgent than picking up the phone, calling in and having dinner delivered right to your door. When I first moved to New York it was actually one of the things I loved most about the city. I had an overwhelming stack of delivery menus from fine cuisine in every nationality to McDonald’s. Everyone will deliver in NYC.

Recently, though, I’ve been feeling really down on take out and delivery. First and foremost I don’t want the plastic bag, but then when I look inside there’s…plastic, plastic, and more plastic. Often things I really don’t need, like 5 sets of plastic silverware individually wrapped (in more plastic).

I’ve been wondering, why does delivery come with silverware anyway? Chances are that everyone taking the food home already has silverware. Have we become so lazy that we can’t even be bothered to wash a fork? Or have we just forgotten that things like plastic forks cost money and resources to produce?

Those 5 sets of plastic silverware, piles of napkins, chopsticks, etc. may be cheap, but they aren’t free. It seems to me that restaurants could actually SAVE MONEY and be more green by simply asking a few questions like… “Do you need silverware with that? If so, how many?” In fact, feel free to assume I DON’T need all that stuff and don’t include it. I won’t miss it.  Others shouldn’t either. If you get your food to go and you need silverware that should be on your mind. The responsibility should be on the consumer to ASK for it.

Let’s do the world a favor and stop throwing all these extra accouterments around, and away.

I’m not the only one who’s hot on this topic. The Green Restaurant Association demands that their members have full-scale recycling programs in place and commit to not using polystyrene foam products (aka Styrofoam). In addition, they encourage restaurants to purchase bioplastic and biodegradable paper products from DineGreen. If you’d like to support a local green restaurant, check out their list of participants here.