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Skip The Stuff: New Hampshire

The New Hampshire chapter of The Surfrider Foundation is excited to be kicking off a “Skip The Stuff” campaign in 2023! This campaign aims to reduce the single-use foodware waste generated by New Hampshire’s local restaurant industry. What is Skip The Stuff and how does it work? Read our FAQ below to find out more:

What is “Skip The Stuff?”


Skip The Stuff (“STS”) is a national campaign that aims to reduce foodware waste by ensuring that restaurant takeout orders do not automatically include single-use accessories such as plastic utensils, straws, condiments, and napkins. Under an STS policy, these items would be added only upon request by the customer.


STS was originally developed by the organizations Just Zero (which developed a model STS policy) and Upstream Solutions (which offers an STS “toolkit” of campaign resources). STS campaigns have since been taken up by environmental advocacy groups around the country, including local Surfrider chapters. Most recently, the New York City Chapter celebrated the passage of an STS bill in New York City that was signed into law by Mayor Eric Adams on February 1, 2023.


Why Skip the Stuff?


Many retail food establishments include single-use items with takeout and delivery orders, even if a customer does not request them. This results in added cost for the establishment and unnecessary waste.


The United States uses more than 36 billion disposable plastic utensils a year[1], and as much as 23 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean annually[2]. At the same time, restaurants in the U.S. spend approximately $19 billion purchasing disposable foodware items each year, and local governments spend $1 billion managing waste and cleaning litter. STS policies are a win-win for restaurants, consumers, and local governments because they help to cut down on both litter and waste management costs.  


Where have Skip the Stuff laws been passed?


In addition to New York City, STS policies have been passed in Denver, Colorado; Gainesville, Florida; and several communities in California including Los Angeles, Carlsbad, Alhambra, and Marin County.


How would restaurants comply with an STS policy?


STS policies are tailored to the needs of the local communities that they are passed in. But as a general guideline, check out this FAQ developed by the City of Denver, Colorado.


In general, single-use condiments would include packaged items such as:


  •       Sauces (like ketchup, relish, mayo, mustard, soy sauce, salad dressing, hot sauce)
  •       Seasonings (like salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes)
  •       Spreads (like cream cheese, jelly, butter)


And single-use food service ware items would include:


  •       Knives, forks, spoons, sporks, and chopsticks
  •       Napkins
  •       Straws
  •       Stirrers, splash sticks, and cocktail sticks


Do STS policies also apply to third-party delivery services?

Yes. Under an STS policy, third-party food delivery services would exclude single-use items from their deliveries by default. If a customer wants these items, they would have to “opt in.” Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, and DoorDash have all announced the use of such opt-in features.[3]


Why Skip The Stuff in New Hampshire?


New Hampshire is in the midst of addressing significant waste management issues. The state’s waste policies were not designed to reduce or avoid waste generation, which has contributed to the state’s dwindling landfill capacity. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has estimated that the state may run out of landfill space—both public and private—by the mid-2030s.[4] State policymakers are calling for a new waste management framework that promotes waste reduction and avoidance over recycling and landfilling.[5]


STS policies can help the Granite State meet its new waste management goals, by cutting down on the use and disposal of single-use foodware items!



How can I get involved in Skip The Stuff with Surfrider New Hampshire?


Contact our Campaigns Coordinator at!


You can also connect with Surfrider NH by attending one of our monthly beach clean-ups or one of our monthly meetings held at The Loaded Question brewery in Portsmouth! Follow us on Instagram to stay informed:



[2] Borrelle, S., Ringma,et al.,(2020) Predicted Growth in Plastic Waste Exceeds Efforts to Mitigate Plastic Pollution, Science 18,. 369: 6510, 1515-1518