‘Skip the Stuff’ Bill Passes by New York City Council – WWD

A local garbage disposal bill in New York City is on its way to Mayor Eric Adams’ desk for signature.

The local bill (Int 0559), dubbed the “Skip the Stuff” law, seeks to amend New York City’s administrative law and limit the standard provision of take-out containers and paraphernalia. Council member Marjorie Velázquez introduced the bill last June. On Thursday, City Council members voted 43 to 7 to pass the bill.

Just recently, New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law legislation banning PFAs, or “forever chemicals,” in clothing by December 31, 2023. The moves show the importance of environmental legislation in recent months and highlight the changing consumer landscape towards sustainability.

Essentially, the bill prohibits restaurants, food couriers, and delivery platforms from providing dinnerware, extra meal containers, condiment packs, and napkins to customers for takeout and delivery orders unless the customer specifically requests it. Some platforms like GrubHub already allow customers to opt-out of utensils, and if the bill is signed by Adams, the others must offer the option, rather than the default waiver of excess utensils.

If the law were signed, it would come into force in six months. Violations of the law would be subject to civil penalties; However, the bill would require warnings instead of a fine to be issued for any violation that occurs before July 1, 2024.

A number of nonprofit organizations (with which the fashion and beauty industries have worked in the past) published blog posts on Friday to praise the council win.

“We simply cannot continue to use unnecessary single-use plastic items like paraphernalia at our current pace if we have any hope of tackling the plastic pollution crisis,” Oceana representative Brian Langloss said in a statement. (For example, Biossance is a corporate partner of the non-profit organization Ocean Conservation). “Councillor Marjorie Velázquez’s bill is an important example of action we can take at the local level to reduce plastic pollution and ensure consumers are making plastic-free choices. We applaud New York City Council for taking action and call on Mayor Eric Adams to sign the law into law immediately.”

A survey conducted by Oceana last year found that 83 percent of eligible New Yorkers are concerned about the amount of plastic used in grocery delivery and takeout, and that 88 percent support local and state action to reduce single-use plastic.

Eric A. Goldstein, senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council and New York City’s environmental director, also hailed the “big win” in a blog post, citing the environmental and economic benefits for restaurant owners.