We’ve all seen these. Many of us have ended up with them, willing or not. There are local charities that are ecstatic to accept donations of unopened utensil/cutlery packs! You may have to do some research at first. As I am informed of organizations accepting donations I will update this post.
My neighborhood’s recycling group is now collecting unopened to-go utensil packs, called “plastic cutlery sets,” where they’ll be donated to a local charity for use.
Don’t forget that an often overlooked “R” is Refuse. You can refuse these. Many apps are now offering the option to decline the utensils and “extras” places throw in. It costs them money, you time, and the landfill space. You can also take them out of the bag at pickup/drop-off and return to the establishment. You may have to be firm the first few times but eventually the businesses will get it.
If you’ve opened these already and can’t/won’t use them yourself:
- *Update 12/31/19: plastic utensils cannot be recycled in the City of Austin. They are too small for the sorting machines. These go in the trash.
- compostable utensils can be composted in the City of Austin green compost carts
- the napkin, salt & paper package, pepper & paper package, sugar and paper package, and wooden coffee stirrer can be composted in the City of Austin green compost carts
- the plastic wrap on these sets should be recyclable at store plastic bag drop-offs.
- Per plasticfilmrecycling.org’s email response, ” The plastic around to-go cutlery is likely recyclable in the store drop-off program – there’s an unscientific test you can do. If you can stretch the film or push your finger through and stretch it then it’s likely polyethylene and can be included.”
- the wet naps and their wrappers go in the trash.
Did I catch all the options on these?!
Please let me know of any local organizations that would be interested in being listed as a place to receive donations of unopened cutlery packs. Thanks!