New York City To Consider Plastic-Straw Ban

A New York City councilman is hoping to ban plastic straws in New York City. Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr., who represents Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, Crown Heights, Cypress Hills, and East New York has introduced a bill that would ban the use of plastic straws in restaurants, bars, cafés, food carts, stadiums, and other service establishments in the Big Apple and its boroughs.

"It's important for New Yorkers to understand that the plastic straw is not a necessity; it's more of a luxury, and our luxury is causing great harm to other environments," Espinal told The New York Times. He suggested that the whale that recently washed ashore in Spain with more than 60 pounds of plastic and other trash in its digestive system only highlights the growing importance and need for this bill, according to GrubStreet.

Espinal is currently working with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the organization behind "Give a Sip," an advocacy project that has partnered with more than 60 New York businesses — including Eataly, Sixty Hotels, and Tom Colicchio's restaurants — to stop plastic straw use.

"New Yorkers need to know and understand that plastic isn't the only type of straw available," Espinal told the Times. "There are paper straws, aluminum straws, and bamboo straws that are much safer for our environment, to name just a few."

Should the proposed bill pass, any business offering plastic straws or coffee stirrers will be fined with a penalty starting at $100. According to CBS2, the councilman's bill is backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who agreed, saying, "I believe we should get rid of plastic straws."

The New York Daily News reports that plastic straws will be available to customers with any sort of disability or medical condition that makes it necessary to use such a straw to drink.

The movement to do away with plastic straws is gaining serious momentum, with governments from the U.K. to Taiwan considering bans. We did not predict banning plastic straws as a trend, but most of our other food trend predictions for 2018 have come true!