Assemblyman David I. Weprin Introduces Bill to Prohibit Single-Use Plastic Straws in Government Run Food Establishments

QUEENS, NEW YORK – Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D – Fresh Meadows, Richmond Hill) has introduced legislation (A11381) to prohibit single-use plastic straws in state and municipal run food establishments except in cases of medical necessity. The legislation amends the state environmental conservation law and public health law in relation to prohibitions on single-use plastic and would result in a notable reduction of plastic waste in the environment.

Plastic pollution is a significant threat to marine habitats, ocean life and natural water systems.  Non-biodegradable and non-recyclable plastics, like single-use straws, dissipate into smaller and smaller pieces over time and remain in water sources long after being discarded.  These carcinogenic microplastics are then ingested by wildlife, some of which are part of human food supplies.  Microplastics have also been found in drinking water supplies across the world, including in New York.  Additionally, over 175 million single use plastic straws are discarded in the United States each day, with billions of straws being sent to landfills or incineration facilities annually, forming an additional source of land and air pollution.

“Banning plastic straws in government run facilities, except in the few cases of medical necessity, is a simple yet effective means  to reduce the harmful accumulation of plastic pollution in our environment,” said Assemblyman David I. Weprin. “This bill will enable New York State to join a growing list of cities, municipalities, and countries that have taken steps to reduce the use of single use plastics and specifically prohibit the use of plastic straws. New York State must be a leader in protecting our environment, food supplies, and water supplies for the use of future generations.”