Executive Director, CoPIRG
Executive Director, CoPIRG
By asking customers if they want food serviceware, restaurants can save money, reduce waste in our communities
DENVER – CoPIRG is calling on the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee to pass HB22-1134 today, a bill that would require restaurants and third-party apps and delivery systems to ask customers if they want utensils, straws, napkins, or condiment packets when they place delivery and takeout orders.
Sponsored by Representative Brianna Titone and Senator Kevin Priola and scheduled to be heard upon adjournment, the bill will ensure restaurants know which customers want serviceware and which ones do not. Unwanted utensils, napkins and condiment packets are wasteful, costing restaurants money and polluting our environment.
“Too often restaurants will stuff utensils, napkins and condiments into our bags of delivery and takeout food because they don’t know if customers want them or not,” said Danny Katz, executive director of CoPIRG. “Many people don’t want them because they have utensils and ketchup bottles at home. This costs restaurants money at a time when they are really feeling the pinch, and contributes to Colorado’s waste problem, which leads to unnecessary pollution in our parks, waterways, and communities. HB22-1134 ensures restaurants have accurate information for what their customers want so they can save time and money and we all can protect the planet.”
With the big rise in takeout and delivery food orders over the last few years, there has been a steady rise in the apps, websites, and ordering systems that restaurants depend on to receive customer orders accurately. HB22-1134 brings consistency and increases the accuracy of the ordering when it comes to food serviceware for restaurants across the state. The City and County of Denver adopted a similar ordinance that went into effect in January.
This cost and time-saving measure is critical as restaurants are struggling with increased costs, supply-chain challenges, and labor shortages. For example, data from Postmates indicates that since October 2019, their switch to asking customers about serviceware saved 122 million packs of plastic cutlery from entering the waste stream, which they equate to $3.2 million dollars in savings for restaurants.
“Given the size of the restaurant industry in Colorado and the sheer quantity of takeout and delivery food that is ordered every day, ensuring that restaurants and their ordering partners ask for and receive the most accurate information about whether customers want utensils and condiments will not only help restaurants’ bottom lines but is a simple act of conservation that will reduce waste and the pollution and litter that come with it,” said Katz.