NYC considers ban on disposable plastic straws

NYC considers ban on disposable plastic straws
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New York City could become the next major city to ban plastic drinking straws due to plastic waste concerns.

A proposed bill set to be introduced in the city council this week would require restaurants to stop using plastic straws or coffee stirrers and would encourage them to use biodegradable paper or metal straws instead.

City Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn), one of the bill’s sponsors, told the New York Daily News that eliminating straws has had “no impact” on businesses.

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"The straw stays in our environment without decomposing for hundreds of years," he said. "We're seeing cities across the country and the globe phasing out plastic straws, and it has no impact on the consumer or small business."

Other cities nationwide, including Miami Beach, Fla., and Seattle, have enacted bans on plastic straws over concerns about ocean pollution. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced earlier this year that the country would ban plastic straws, becoming the first nation to do so.

And some companies, including airlines and restaurants, have elected to stop using the straws on their own.

The New York City Council bill would fine businesses between $100 and $400 for violating the ban. The Council is also considering a ban on the sale of disposable plastic bottles in public areas like parks and beaches, according to the New York Daily News.