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UberEats, GrubHub, Delivery.com, Doordash, Seamless, PostMates & Caviar Asked to “Hold the Single-Use Plastics, Please”

Posted By Annika Bergen, Friday, July 17, 2020

ReUSE Minnesota, along with more than 120 other environmental organizations sent letters to seven national food delivery companies asking they change their default ordering process to one that does not automatically include single-use utensils, napkins, condiments, and straws. Customers should have to specifically request those items when they place their order and "opt in." 

It's a small step, but we can continue work on reducing single-use items (that aren't needed at home or aren't needed with you plan ahead and bring reusables) in our daily actions and choices. Press Release details included below -

 

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More than 120 environmental groups ask the food delivery companies to make a small change with a big impact

 

CONTACTS: Judith Enck - 518.605.1770, JudithEnck@Bennington.edu | Jennie Romer - 510.685.1575, jromer@surfrider.org  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2020

 

New York City, NY – More than one hundred twenty environmental organizations sent letters to seven national food delivery companies today asking that they change their default ordering process to one that does not automatically include utensils, napkins, condiments, and straws in order to reduce the tsunami of single-use plastic pollution entering our oceans, landfills and incinerators. Instead, customers would need to specifically request these single-use items when they place their order for delivery — “opting in” to receive the specific items they want — reducing costs to restaurants and taking an important step to protect our environment.

 

“Takeout orders are up all over the country as a result of the COVID pandemic; however, the vast majority of people eating at home neither need nor want yet another set of plastic utensils, plastic straws, handful of soy sauce or ketchup packets, or pile of paper napkins. Committing to making this small change to their delivery ordering systems would help reduce single-use packaging and save restaurants a bit of money,” said Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics.

 

The letter, addressed to Grubhub/Seamless, DoorDash/Caviar, UberEats/Postmates, and Delivery.com, lays out the argument that making these changes will be a win-win-win proposition, saving restaurants money, keeping customers from overflowing drawers of unwanted soy sauce packets, and keeping plastic pollution out of our communities, parklands, beaches, waterways, and the ocean.

 

“Food delivery platforms have the opportunity to reduce the amount of plastic entering our homes while at the same time saving businesses money by moving to an opt-in system for these items. Similar to how customers choose exactly which toppings they want on their pizza, customers should also be able to opt in to exactly which utensils, napkins, condiments, or straws they want," said Jennie Romer, Legal Associate at the Surfrider Founation's Plastic Pollution Initiative.

 

As consumers increasingly rely on delivery services for their meals, the amount of unwanted single-use utensils and condiments are on the rise as well. Food delivery companies have seen increases in orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, as restaurants have been closed for dining in, and customers have been loath to leave their homes. A recent study found that 98% of all U.S. take-out or delivery meals are consumed at home or a workplace, where reusable cutlery is typically available and preferred.

 

“We appreciate the amplification and expansion of our #CutOutCutlery campaign. This is a very simple solution to a large problem and Plastic-Free July is an ideal time to raise awareness about the damage that seemingly benign plastic cutlery imposes on our planet,” said Sheila Morovati, president and founder of HabitsofWaste.org.

 

Items often included in take-out deliveries, like plastic utensils and straws, are consistently among the top items found in beach clean ups across the country. These items can harm wildlife if swallowed, before breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually entering the food chain. Tiny plastic particles known as microplastics have been found in soil, water, fruit, zooplankton, sea mist, and humans. Microplastics have been found in stool samples and a study found that adults are ingesting roughly a credit card’s worth of microplastic particles (5 grams) each week, with impacts on human health that are not yet well studied.

 

Plastic production is inextricable from both our climate and environmental justice crises. Plastics are made from a combination of fracked gas and chemicals, and their production and disposal is a major source of global carbon emissions. If plastic production and use grow as currently planned, by 2050, the greenhouse gas emissions from plastic could reach over 56 gigatons—10-13% of the entire remaining carbon budget.

 

Plastics and fossil fuel manufacturing infrastructure as well as landfills and incinerators --are overwhelmingly located in communities of color. In fact, data from the U.S. EPA showed that people of color are 79% more likely than white people to live in communities where industrial pollution poses the greatest danger to their health. Poor air quality has been linked to the tragic reality that Latino and African-Americans have been three times as likely to become infected with COVID, and twice as likely to die from it as white Americans.

 

Reducing our usage of plastics can help address both of these urgent problems, shielding us from the worst impacts of climate change, while improving the health and lives of communities on the front lines of industrial pollution.

 

Tags:  advocacy  avoid single-use  meeting  zero waste 

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Join us at our February Member Meeting!

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 25, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

******BECAUSE OF THE FORECAST OF YET ANOTHER WINTER STORM THE FEBRUARY 12TH MEMBER MEETING HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 26TH. All other details remain the same******

Join us at Eureka Recycling for our February Member Meeting! Enjoy a tour of their Material Recovery Facility, a discussion of the happenings of the reuse community, networking with people in the reuse sector, and a tasty lunch courtesy of our host.

The meeting will be on Tuesday, February 26, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at Eureka Recycling in Minneapolis. RSVP here or call 612-352-9119 to reserve yourself a spot.

As a zero waste demonstration and lab, touring Eureka Recycling's Material Recovery Facility (or MRF for short) shows you how recyclable materials are collected, separated, and then sold – all within the framework of a triple bottom line business and a locally-focused social enterprise model. On the tour we’ll also talk about how reuse fits into Eureka Recycling’s zero-waste vision and how reuse benefit recycling facilities. We’ll learn more about how recycling impacts our community, our local economy, and the environment. Please wear closed toed shoes if you plan on joining the tour. Also note that parking is limited, so we recommend carpooling or taking transit when possible. Limited spots are available to the right as you enter the facility both to the north of the office building and directly in front of it. Street parking is available on Kennedy Street as well.

This is the quarterly meeting for members of ReUSE Minnesota to network, discuss the happenings of the reuse community, and meet new people in the Reuse sector.

The event is open to everyone interested in reuse–you don't have to be a member to join us!

 

Tags:  meeting  quarterly meeting 

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