Assemblyman Pat Burke (D-Buffalo) announced that a bill he sponsored to encourage the elimination of single-use plastics on SUNY and CUNY campuses has passed the Assembly (A.7564). The bill would require the boards of trustees for SUNY and CUNY schools to adopt a policy encouraging students, teachers and staff to work together to gradually eliminate the use of certain single-use plastic items.
“Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists on this planet in some form and will continue to exist for thousands of years, which creates serious problems for our environment,” Burke said. “When plastic enters a waterway, it eventually breaks down into microplastics containing toxins that can negatively impact residents and wildlife. And, incredibly, more than a third of plastics produced are ‘single-use,’ meaning they will be used once and thrown away. In bringing together SUNY and CUNY’s communities to address the issue of single-use plastics, we have the opportunity to see what may be possible someday for the entire state of New York.”
Burke’s bill states that the policies enacted by the universities should be the result of a collaborative effort between students, teachers, and staff to create a plan that works well for all populations within the college system. Legislation like this allows New Yorkers to take environmental concerns into their own hands and begin working on holistic solutions, Burke noted.