Denverites will need to request single-use supplies shortly when ordering delivery or takeaway. Otherwise they won’t get it.

People in Denver must request paraphernalia when ordering takeaway

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Denver City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night that will prevent restaurants and third-party delivery services from automatically requiring single-use items. Instead, companies need to ask customers if they want these products.

Disposable accessories include items such as plastic utensils, straws, napkins, and spice packets. Councilor Kendra Black introduced the ordinance to help the city reduce waste, especially as takeout and delivery orders have increased during the pandemic.

“This little bill that hopefully will have a big impact on the use of single-use plastic and waste,” Black said during the meeting on Monday evening. “I describe this calculation as profit, profit, profit.”

It will take a few months for the regulation to come into force. The Office for Climate Protection, Sustainability and Resilience (CASR) will spend this time defining the rules and ways to enforce them.

The current enforcement plan is based on complaints from customers. City officials said fines could be imposed if complaints are not addressed.

According to Black, environmental groups proposed and supported the policy on its likely impact on waste reduction. She added that residents were also in favor of the rule because it will reduce the number of unused disposables piling up in their homes.

Black said she’s also had good feedback from restaurants.

“Restaurants support this because they care about reducing waste, being responsive to their customers and actually saving money by only making these items available when customers want them,” said Black.

Approval comes a few months before the Denver plastic bag fee goes into effect. The law requires retailers to charge 10 cents per plastic or paper bag. The law was supposed to go into effect in July 2020, but took a back seat in the pandemic.

It will now come into effect on July 1st.

RELATED: Denver OKs Plastic Bags Fee Ordinance

The legislature also takes up the plastic question. Earlier this month, lawmakers tabled a bill banning certain single-use plastics, such as plastic bags and styrofoam containers, commonly used for take-out orders in restaurants.

RELATED: State lawmakers advocate banning certain single-use plastics

The law (HB21-1162) was passed in the State House on May 5th. It was introduced in the Senate on May 10th.


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