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Garwood, NJ – On March 21 2024, the Borough of Garwood joined the growing number of towns to Skip the Stuff! Clean Water Action is leading the campaign to help reduce unwanted single-use disposables, mostly plastics, from going into the waste stream. Now, when a person orders take-out from a restaurant in Garwood, they will not be given cutlery or condiments unless requested.  

Last week, on March 14, Red Bank Borough Council voted unanimously to Skip the Stuff. They wove the cutlery and condiment ordinance into their 2019 bag ban, much like Maplewood and Stone Harbor did, to create an even stronger plastic ordinance. New York City passed a Skip the Stuff policy in February 2023.  

“Toxins from plastic leach into the foods we eat. Plastic never goes away but only breaks down into smaller and smaller micro-plastic that are still toxic. It ends up in the air we breathe, the dirt we sow for our vegetables and floating in the water fish ingest that we then eat. That’s how we end up with it in our bodies that might make us sick”, said Marta Young, Zero Waste Specialist, Clean Water Action.  

Plastic has been linked to numerous cancers, insulin resistance, and negatively affecting our respiratory and reproductive systems. Reducing cutlery and condiments that are not needed helps in a small way to reduce unnecessary exposure to toxins. 

Skip the Stuff is a clear win-win for business owners, customers, and the environment.  Restaurants will save money and storage space needed for these single use items. Anyone who wants cutlery or condiments merely needs to ask for it. Too often we get handfuls of unwanted items that get stuffed in a kitchen junk drawer, refrigerator or simply thrown away. Furthermore, cutlery is too small to be recycled as it jams the equipment, so it ends up as waste for landfills or incinerators.  

Clean Water Action is also working to advance state legislation but until that happens towns are showing their support by passing municipal Skip the Stuff ordinances. “Just do it! It’s really a no brainer”, said Garwood Council President Vincent Kearney. 

This Skip the Stuff initiative is part of a larger Clean Water Action ReThink Disposable campaign. 


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Learn more at 

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