Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation about reusable food ware, combined with elevated takeout demand, has increased the amount of disposable food ware items used by restaurants (including bags, straws, utensils, cups, menus, and condiments). The Charlotte Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is launching the “Choose to Reuse” campaign to educate and transition business owners and customers alike to adopt easy solutions to avoid unnecessary disposable items.
As part of the educational campaign, this volunteer-run program is encouraging businesses to choose reusable tableware for dine-in guests, provide utensils/condiments only upon request, offer incentives if a customer brings their own reusable cup/mug, and offer online ordering or ordering by app to avoid disposable menus.
Implementing campaigns such as “Choose to Reuse” enables restaurants the opportunity to initiate new practices while saving money and resources. Businesses interested in participating in the campaign will receive signage to post in their storefronts that offers customers utensils on request only, as well as digital infographics to help share the new initiative with customers.
Residents can assist restaurants in the transition by simply mentioning that you do not need utensils, straws, condiments, bags, napkins, etc. when ordering takeout from local restaurants. Many businesses in Charlotte are successful due to consistent support of the community. We encourage residents to continue to support local restaurants in the transition to a more sustainable future, and be sure to check out our website frequently to find local area restaurants that are participating in this new program.