Stop including single use plastic cutlery in every fast food take out bag.

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Hundreds of take-out fast food restaurants across the country include single use plastic cutlery in a plastic bag with out the customer requesting they even need it for their meal. How many times have you taken the take-out home and use your own utensils and the plastic cutlery just gets thrown in a drawer, recycled or thrown in the trash if recycling isn't accessible? 

A 2015 study by Ocean Conservancy scientists and partners found that plastic cutlery are among the most dangerous to ocean animals such as seabirds and turtles, especially as they break up into smaller microplastics. Single-use utensils can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Most plastic utensils are made of polystyrene, which can release toxic chemicals when heated.

This petition is to create a law that would ban including single use plastic cutlery in all take out bags unless requested by the customer. This would help reduce the plastic waste as well as saving take out restaurants thousands of dollars in supply costs. 

Some estimates put the number of individual plastic utensils wasted at 40 billion per year in the United States alone. The ultimate goal is to ban single use plastic completely but this would be the first step to banning unnecessary plastic waste. 

At each take out and fast food restaurant, there would be a sign saying "plastic cutlery not included in order and is by request only. Re-usable bamboo, wood or metal cutlery is recommended to help reduce plastic waste."

Ideally, restaurants will start using biodegradable cutlery and/or sell bamboo cutlery kits to encourage customers to bring their own each time they eat a meal at a restaurant. This is a win win for restaurants, customers and the environment.