By the Bronxville Green Committee
Sept. 13, 2023: A new Westchester County “Upon Request” law states no food service establishment will provide single-use foodware or condiment packets to any dine-in or take-away customer unless specifically requested. Items include forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks, cup sleeves, beverage lids and condiment packets or cups.
The law is effective September 2, 2023, and is intended to eliminate unneeded and unwanted foodware and condiments from dine-in or take-out orders to reduce single-use waste in Westchester County. This common-sense, mindful approach allows customers to request the foodware items they need.
Check out the county’s informational video. Highlights include:
-Each year in the U.S., an estimated 40 billion plastic food utensils end up in the waste stream. The goal of the law is to reduce single-use waste.
-Customers may request single-use foodware or condiments individually, but food service establishments may not provide foodware or condiment packets unless requested by the customer.
-Includes orders made in person, on the phone, online or through a delivery app
-Businesses may not provide bundled single-use items by default
-Plastic beverage stirrers or splash sticks are no longer permitted
-Informational signage will be posted in all food establishments
-Reducing waste can help lower business and consumer costs
“It will take time for customers and businesses to become accustomed to this new legislation,” says Ellen Edwards, Chair of the Bronxville Green Committee. “If you find a business that included single-use items in their delivery, we hope you contact them to remind them of the law. And if you forget to request a needed item, or an item you requested is not in your order, we hope you’ll be patient. Soon we’ll all be used to the new routine and we’re confident Bronxville residents will be supportive of the county’s effort to reduce waste.” We’ll enjoy the benefits of reducing the amount of single-use plastic we throw away – by not acquiring it in the first place!
In 2019 New York State passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which sets the goal of addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030. Reducing the solid waste we produce, and recycling as much as possible, are important parts of these efforts and important goals of our county and local community.
The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization that is part of the Village of Bronxville. We work to propose and implement environmentally sustainable programs in our community.
The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization under Village government. We work with the Trustees and Village staff on programs that promote clean energy initiatives and sustainable ways of living. Our programs include The Bronxville Giving Garden, a community garden whose produce is donated to local groups; Take Back Day, when we collect items to be recycled; and Pollinator Pathways, which encourages adding native plants to our gardens. We believe everyone can make a difference by adopting simple, sustainable practices in daily life so we can work together to protect what we love -- our families, our homes and our town.