Brewster Restaurants Worry Plastic Utensil & Container Ban Would Hurt Bottom Line

If Brewster voters move ahead with the ban, it would take effect in September 2024

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Brewster residents will be deciding whether or not to ban residents from handing out plastic utensils and containers, including Styrofoam, in May.

Brewster resident Victor Roberts filed the petition citing published research estimating there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Seven of 15 Cape Cod towns, including Brewster, are moving towards similar votes ordering restaurants to require customers to bring their own cutlery or containers—or buy them from the restaurant.

“I don’t see why there should be a problem. If someone comes into a store and hands someone a reusable container and says ‘just put my food in this container,’” Roberts said.

Cary Noyes, co-owner of JT’s Seafood Restaurant in Brewster said it is not that simple for some of the items she sells, like cups of ice cream.

“I can’t see someone riding on the bike trail with their utensils with them, in their spandex. Where are they gonna put it?” Noyes said.

Noyes said a bamboo utensil right now costs about $1.05 compared with a plastic utensil costing her 2 cents to buy.

She said she could be a fan of the ban, just not now as it is written with a first offense bringing a warning, second offense carrying a $150 fine, and a third offense and any offense after costing a business $300 for each offense.

“Enough’s enough, you know, we’ve had a tough time during COVID as everybody’s had, let’s talk about it,” Noyes said.

If Brewster voters move ahead with the ban, it would take effect in September 2024.

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