Remember when you thought you would never remember to take shopping bags with you to the grocery store. How many times did you forget to bring them?
When stores started limiting or eliminating plastic bags for customers, we all went through a period of adjustment. Some of us more than others. For my "hippie" friends and I, nothing changed. We had been using canvas, cloth or even reusable plastic bags for years. They don't disintegrate on you and they are generally kinder to the hands, especially when heavily loaded.
Well now it's time to take things up a notch. Plastic cutlery. Straws. Styrofoam "doggie bags." All these things are going straight to landfills, or simply getting dumped. They are bad for the environment and everything that lives.
The good news is, you don't have to eat with your fingers. (Unless you want to, of course.) You can simply carry your own utensils and carry-out container with you. It's not a big deal. Here are my "restaurant kits."
Above are my two "restaurant survival kits." The top one is a pair of chopsticks and a chopstick rest, rolled up in a napkin. (I hate paper napkins) The second kit is disassembled - 2 pairs of chopsticks, a long-handled spoon, which is good for soup, or stirring your Thai Iced Tea, and a fork. They all fit easily into the red drawstring bag, which, in turn can be rolled up in a cloth napkin.
The 3rd item in my arsenal is a take-out container with a plastic bag. This one is about 6" long and 1 1/2" deep. The plastic bag is for when the leftovers are soupy - you can put the full container in it and tie it shut to be sure there is no leakage on the way home. Or you can put extra bread and/or crackers in the bag. Your container need not be so cutesy as mine, but I find that kids' bento boxes, sold in Japanese variety stores like Daiso, have a good seal and are quite sturdy. They are also usually just the right size for left-overs.
You can also take larger bentos for when you order food to go. Many restaurants are happy to put your food in containers that you bring. I use bentos from Japan, they have a nice selection HERE.
Of course you can re-use containers that foods come in. I get dates in these fabulous, durable and water-tight clear plastic containers which serve very well as bentos or for all kinds of storage.
The point is, you can put a dent in plastic waste by preparing your own utensils and containers. Every little bit helps!