DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver City Council unanimously passed a bill on Monday evening requiring companies to require customers to opt for single-use items such as plastic forks, chopsticks or spice packs when ordering takeaway or an app service for grocery delivery at a restaurant use. The rules will be drawn up in the coming months before the regulation comes into force until the beginning of 2022.
“I would guess most people have a drawer full of these items and it really has nothing to do with them,” said District 4 Councilor Kendra Black. “They are not recyclable and I think most people end up throwing them away . ” ”
Black told CBS4 Tuesday that environmental groups have made national efforts to encourage local governments to take this step. The use of these items has increased significantly during the pandemic. According to Black, an agency reported that take-out and delivery were up 300 percent.
Denver City Council has also taken steps to reduce the use of plastic bags. The Office for Climate Protection, Sustainability and Resilience will create the specific rules that can evolve with the changing business with delivery apps.
“Especially as a small business owner, everything costs money,” said Fathima Dickerson, the owner of Welton Street Cafe, on Tuesday. “It gets you into the kennel as a small business, especially if you’re trying to get back on your feet through a pandemic.”
As restaurants prepare for the minimum wage rise, Dickerson looks for ways to save money. Your business in the Five Points neighborhood is dependent on takeout orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I need this, I don’t need this, save it for the next person and that’s important too,” Dickerson explained of what her clients tell her. “They feed their families and often already have the supplies, the spices they need.”
She spoke to CBS4 at the restaurant and showed off some of the many products they buy to keep their restaurant going with to-go orders. Dickerson hopes to dine at Welton Street Cafe again soon.
“I’ve always been very concerned about single-use plastics and there is an extraordinary amount of packaging in our new way of delivery,” Black said in a video conference on Tuesday. “Before I even get to the end of the row, they put my food in a bag with a fork and a napkin and wait, wait, wait, I don’t want that fork.”
Black also cites a pilot program run by Grubhub in New York and New Jersey in which 80 percent of people who had to choose plastic items chose not to ask for one when they order. She says there were no complaints either.
“We have to think about it because it ends up in a landfill and a lot of it ends up in the trash. We’ve all seen plastic islands floating in the ocean,” she said. “We have cleaning days in our rivers and waterways and in our parks. Most of the articles are single-use plastics. “