Skip the Stuff

Did you know that in the US, over 561 billion disposable food service items, such as utensils, straws, cups, and napkins, are used every year which results in 4.9 million tons of waste (9.8 billion lbs)? Most of these items are not used and create excessive waste. 

The County is working together to encourage consumers to actively reduce the amount of disposable utensils, napkins, straws and sauce packets they are using. Consumers can request that unnecessary items be excluded from their orders and restaurants can ask consumers if the items are needed before filling orders. If the food is being consumed at home, consider using your utensils at home instead of the single-use utensils and straws. 


The #SkipTheStuff is a national policy campaign organized through our National Reuse Network. The goal is to enact policies in local and state government that require restaurants to “ask first” before adding all the unnecessary stuff to your order. Together we can get city, county and state legislatures to take action and enact a policy that:

  • Requires every restaurant to ask the customer first before providing accessories 
  • Requires meal delivery and online apps (like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Door Dash and Yelp) to post a menu of accessories (e.g. cutlery, napkins, straws, condiments, etc.) whereby a customer has to “opt-in” or select each item and quantity they want.

Resources for Restaurants

If you own or manage a restaurant, please see the links below to help you reduce waste and integrate sustainable practices in your establishment. 

Green Dining in NC 

Green Restaurant Association

Skip the Stuff - Food Service Information

Skip the Stuff Toolkit

Reuse Savings Calculator