New York City is set to consider banning disposable plastic straws across the five boroughs.
City Councilman Rafael Espinal had planned to introduce a bill Wednesday that would prohibit disposable straws at all city establishments, including street vendors, restaurants, bars arenas and stadiums, reports Gothamist.
If the bill is adopted, New York City will join several North American municipalities, including Seattle, Miami Beach, Malibu and Vancouver to ban wasteful disposable straws. Scotland and Taiwan are also considering such bans. NYC would be the largest city in the world to ban disposable straws. Espinal cited one venue in Brooklyn that reportedly uses 1.5 million straws per year.
Plastic straws are rarely recycled and one of the most often wasted everyday items, said Councilman Espinal, whose bill is supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society. They are also one of the top sources of beach litter because they are apt to blow away in the wind or get picked up by seabirds.
Americans alone are estimated to trash nearly half a billion straws every day.
Espinal said he has become increasingly concerned over the years about single-use plastic products and the harmful impact they have on the environment. He says he optimistic about how his plan will be received by the City Council.
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