We’ve joined the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium Give a Sip initiative to help build public awareness of the impacts of single use plastic straws on the environment and how they endanger marine life all over
Last week, SWIM participated in a rally at City Hall organized by Wildlife Conservation Society and attended the City Council public hearing on a new legislative bill, Int. No. 936, proposed by City Council Members Espinal, Rosenthal and Grodenchik. Here is a link to an article about the bill. And here is a link to the full bill. And finally, here is a link to a great video from the rally. The image we’ve used for this blog post is a screen grab from the video.
Want to Take Action Right Now?! Click here to let the City Council and the Mayor know that you support the Intro 936 bill! Make a personal commitment to say "no" to plastic straws and drink stirrers.
At the hearing, public testimonies were delivered by organizations such as Lonely Whale, Package Free Shop, Wildlife Conservation Society, The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, NYC Hospitality Alliance, Citizens with Disabilities, and Waterfront Alliance just to name a few.
Citizens with disabilities testified that they were appreciative of the fact that councilman Espinal had included them in his development of the bill so that it includes a variance to ensure that straws would be made available to people with disabilities which require them to use a straw.
The NYC hospitality industry testimony indicated that they are generally in support of the legislation, they raised some questions about how best to determine a person’s need for a straw if they say they are disabled, requested more than a two year timeline for adoption of the new practices outlined in the bill, and suggested that DEP, instead of the Dept. of Health, take part in the enforcement of the law along with Dept. of Sanitation.
Alternative options to plastic straws would be compostable, plant-based straws, reusables, or to simply offer no straws at all. NYC Hospitality Alliance conducted a survey of about 400 restaurants and got these results: 85% are in support of the ban, 10% are not sure, and <5% are against it because of cost concerns. NYC Hospitality is pledging to work with manufacturers to find the best alternative, economical options for the switch.
We're happy to support the Give a Sip campaign and will continue to advocate for the passage of Intro 936 into law. Straws Suck!