Breaking News

New York City soda drinkers, your plastic straws could be an endangered species

A proposed bill may just exchange the best way New York City drinks.

New York City Council Member Rafael Espinal offered a bill Wednesday that would ban restaurants and bars from giving customers plastic single-use straws. The best exception could be for purchasers who require plastic straws on account of disabilities or medical stipulations.

The penalty for violating the law could be $100, Espinal proposed. If the bill becomes law, the city wouldn’t get started charging the ones fines until after a two-year grace period.

“It’s no secret that we've got a plastic downside,” Espinal said. “Each day tens of millions of plastic straws are used and discarded. With so many options to be had from paper to metal straws, we will make plastic a thing of the past.”

The proposal makes New York the latest city to take purpose at plastic straws on account of their damaging environmental effects. Malibu, Davis and San Luis Obispo, Calif., Seattle and Miami Beach and Fort Myers, Fla. have all banned or limited plastic straws. Food and beverage establishments have became to paper, bamboo, metal and even glass to replace plastic straws.

Espinal, a Democrat who represents portions of Brooklyn, introduced the proposal alongside environmental advocates together with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Sierra Club and Oceanic Global.

An estimated 100,000 marine creatures and 1 million seabirds die once a year from plastic entanglement, Espinal said.

“Whether you are in Coney Island or Fiji, single-use plastic straws are an endemic at the international’s oceans,” said John Calvelli, the executive vp for public affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society said. Whales, albatrosses and sea turtles can all be harm through plastic, he said.

The proposed straw ban has support from individuals of the restaurant industry, together with chef Tom Colicchio, owner of Crafted Hospitality Group, and Ann Redding, owner of Thai restaurant Uncle Boons in New York.

Some restaurants have already started switching to paper straws. Colicchio said his group is within the technique of getting rid of the straws from its full-service New York restaurants.

This is not the primary effort to make restaurant food more straightforward at the setting. McDonald’s MCD, +1.36%  introduced in January that through 2025 it'll make 100% of its packaging for purchasers’ food from “renewable, recycled, or qualified sources” to be able to cut back waste. “Certified sources” refers to fabrics that come from natural sources, where no deforestation occurs.

The U.S. has one of the vital lowest recycling rates of any evolved country, in keeping with the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit primarily based in New York.

Food waste and packaging are specifically an issue. Food, plus packaging — some, though no longer all, of which is used to include food — make up about 45% of the entire trash in U.S. landfills, in keeping with the Environmental Protection Agency. And that each one provides up: Americans throw out about $165 billion value of food once a year, in keeping with NRDC.

Espinal’s proposed bill will first need support from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio if it’s to move directly to the City Council for a vote.

Maria LaMagna covers non-public finance for MarketWatch in New York.

We Want to Hear from You

Join the dialog