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Ordering Takeout? Denver Ordinance Aims To Reduce Use Of Plastic Utensils, Napkins & Straws

DENVER (CBS4) - In a unanimous vote on Monday night, Denver City Council passed a bill aimed at reducing the use of plastic utensils, napkins, straws and other single-use accessories. The new ordinance changes Denver's Revised Municipal Code to require restaurants and third-party delivery platforms to only provide the single-use items upon request.

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The bill does not prevent businesses from offering the utensils or condiments to customers. Exceptions to the ordinance include self-service stations, special events, prepackaged items, meals provided as part of a social service, and meals provided to hotel guests. Under the ordinance, third-party delivery platforms can still use cup lids, spill plugs and trays in order to prevent spills while delivering food and beverages.

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The bill aims to reduce waste in order to protect the climate and to promote energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The International Solid Waste Association estimates that consumption of single-use plastics grew between 250-300% during the pandemic.

Denver's Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency will oversee the new rules. Under the new ordinance, businesses could be fined up to $999 if they violate the rule more than once within year. To read more about the ordinance, click here.

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