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SUNY plans to eliminate plastic straws by August; phase out plastic utensils next

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  • Staff Report 

In an effort to become more environmentally friendly, the State University of New York (SUNY) system has announced plans to eliminate plastic straws by August and phase out plastic dine-in utensils next year. State Senator Joe Griffo sees this as an opportunity to promote New York-made stainless-steel flatware, specifically advocating for Liberty Flatware, the only flatware manufacturer in America, based in Sherrill, Oneida County.


Liberty Tabletop Flatware, taking over assets from the historic Oneida Limited, represents a continuation of a proud manufacturing tradition within the state. Senator Griffo highlighted Liberty’s success and the potential benefits of supporting local business through SUNY’s environmental initiatives. Despite SUNY not committing yet to using Liberty’s products, the move away from single-use plastics signals a significant shift in the university system’s approach to sustainability.

Griffo is actively engaging with SUNY officials and the state Office of General Services to explore ways to incorporate Liberty Flatware on campuses, suggesting that legislative action may not be necessary for this shift. His efforts underscore a broader push towards sustainability and local economic support within New York State’s public university system.