Environmentalists marked one in the win column this state budget cycle. A plastic bag ban signed into law and they aren’t slowing down on pushing an earth-friendly legislative agenda.
The state budget moved to ban single-use plastic bags, but for some environmental groups, that should just be the beginning in tackling plastic waste. A ban on single-use plastic bags does not take effect until next March, but already environmental advocates like Liz Moran of the New York Public Interest Research Group are looking to a ban on other one-and-done items like plastic straws.
“We have a plastics crisis across the globe,” said Moran. “There’s 8 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans every single year. Using plastic contributes to our climate crisis.”
A potential ban on plastic straws has raised concerns with the New York Restaurant Association. Kevin Dugan, the group’s governmental affairs director, says the cost could be a big one.
“We’d be looking at minimum triple their cost for what they’re paying for straws,” said Dugan. “Right now, you can get a plastic straw for half a cent a piece. A lot of the other materials they’re looking would cost 3 cents.”
But there’s a potential compromise: One bill would make straw usage an option for restaurant patrons, having them request one in order to drink from one.
Spectrum News – Rochester: