Plastic straws and utensils not banned in NYC, but new rules start Monday

Local News

NEW YORK — In an effort to reduce trash, restaurants and businesses won’t be able to hand out single-use plastic straws unless customers ask for one.

The new law was passed in the spring and it takes effect on Monday.

A plastic straw ban was initially considered, but it did not become part of the law. Plastic straws can still be used. Food establishments just can’t hand them out unless requested. It also applies to stirrers and sticks as well — for coffee and other drinks.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer of Sunnyside, Queens is proposing another idea for plastic utensils.

He calls his bill “skip the stuff” — and it has majority support in city council.

“We all have a drawer full of plastic forks and knives that we never use. It would be nice if the default was they don’t throw it in unless you ask for it,” he said.

The city estimates businesses could save $3,000 at least per year.

Evette Zayas is the co-owner of a Cake Burgers on East 120th Street in East Harlem

“When they’re here, I ask them or on my delivery apps, it needs to be requested. It helps us because we don’t have to buy the goods,” she said.

Van Bramer’s bill needs a hearing, which is expected next month.

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