It can be really annoying when the waimai you just received doesn’t come with any spoons or chopsticks. But you might want to get used to it because this will most likely be the new normal in less than two weeks.
According to a newly released regulation, beginning July 1 all restaurants across the city can no longer provide disposable dinnerware unless customers specifically ask for it. This includes chopsticks, spoons, forks and knives. Those who violate the regulation will receive a fine of RMB500-5,000, reports Shanghai Observer.
Without a doubt, food delivery services will be affected the most by the new law since the default setting on most apps requests tableware with every order. To respond to the new policy, ele.me and Meituan have announced that they will update their systems. When asked whether the delivery fee will be reduced now that dinnerware won’t be supplied, both companies have said no.
Image via Pixabay
Fast food chains are affected as well. Starbucks has already replaced plastic straws with environment-friendly paper straws. Now, to cater to the new law, they will no longer provide disposable knives, forks, spoons and cups at the dinnerware counter. If customers want to take away food or drinks, they’ll have to ask for these items. KFC and McDonald’s will soon follow suit.
While many netizens support the new regulation, recognizing the government’s effort to reduce waste, the news is causing all sorts of panic among those who are used to receiving disposable utensils with their orders.
“Does this mean I have to use my bare hands to eat KFC’s mashed potatoes?” asked one netizen on Weibo.
Meanwhile, some netizens are skeptical about the practicality of the policy.
“I can’t see how this is different from the previous circumstances, if all it takes is asking the clerks to get the plastic tableware,” commented another.
Shanghai is getting more and more serious about reducing the amount of waste the city creates. Apart from the imminent garbage sorting regulation, all hotels around the city will also stop providing disposable items starting July 1.
[Cover image via Pixabay]