By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Postmates has joined Uber Eats as the second food delivery service to change its default settings for customers to have to opt in for single-use plastic cutlery—thanks to a Habits of Waste campaign founded by Highlands resident Sheila Morovati.
“We launched #CutOutCutlery so that food delivery applications change their default setting making plastic cutlery available only by request,” Habits of Waste shared in a newsletter. “It’s working! Postmates joins Uber Eats by shifting their settings—no one receives unwanted plastic cutlery.”
The food delivery service had been testing the opt-in option since October, with a formal announcement in late February.
“Postmates has officially joined the effort to reduce single-use plastics,” the company reported in a blog post. “According to HabitsofWaste.org, 40,000,000,000 single-use plastic utensils are thrown away each year. Doing small things like opting out of plastic utensils with delivery orders contributes to the effort to keep plastic waste out of our environment.”
Postmates estimates that changing the default setting will save millions of unneeded utensils each month from being introduced into the environment. Utensils will still be made available upon request, but Postmates encourages customers to join the fight against waste by using reusable utensils whenever possible.
Habits of Waste was founded by Morovati with the goal of creating new social norms around wastefulness. #CutOutCutlery was specifically launched because Morovati said that she knows many Palisadians who keep a drawer full of plastic cutlery received through a delivery service that were not requested but they feel guilty throwing away.
She was inspired to launch the new campaigns after successfully running Crayon Collection, a nonprofit that collects gently used crayons from restaurants and repurposes them in schools, for a decade.
“A simple shift in a default setting can reduce over 40 billion pieces of plastic cutlery per year,” the newsletter continued. “But we are not done and we need your help! We have to continue our email campaign to put pressure on Grubhub and DoorDash to change their default settings as well.”
Morovati is encouraging Palisadians to participate in Habits of Waste’s campaigns, interacting on social media and becoming a reoccurring donor.
For more information, visit habitsofwaste.org.
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