Straw

City council on Monday will discuss a proposal to limit or ban the use of plastic straws in Newark.

City council on Monday will discuss a proposal to limit or ban the distribution of disposable plastic straws in Newark.

The proposal is a recommendation from the Conservation Advisory Commission, a volunteer board that advises council on environmental issues.

The CAC, which claims that 91,000 plastic straws are used daily in Newark, noted that other towns elsewhere in the country have banned straws, including Seattle, Miami Beach and San Francisco.

The group is asking council to either ban straws outright or adopt a city-wide policy requiring restaurants to provide straws on a request-only basis. Another option is to phase in the initiative over two years, starting with the request-only policy before moving to a ban.

Under the proposal, an exemption would be made for citizens with medical or physical conditions that require them to use a straw.

The CAC first discussed the straw ban several months ago, prompted by a group of Newark Charter School students who researched the issue and gave a presentation to the board.

Over the last two years, the students went out to all the restaurants on Main Street and asked them to stop providing straws unless requested. So far, 16 eateries have signed on.

Meanwhile, city council has already signaled its support for a proposed state law that would ban the use of most single-use plastic bags. Last week, council directed the city’s lobbyist, Rick Armitage, to lobby in favor of the bag ban.

The law would apply to stores bigger than 7,000 square feet as well as stores with three or more locations having at least 3,000 square feet of space. Restaurants would be excluded from the ban, which also provides exceptions for bags used to wrap meat, fish, flowers or plants, or that contain unwrapped food items.

On Thursday, the bill passed the state senate. It is now awaiting the signature of Gov. John Carney, who said he plans to sign it.

(11) comments

mitchellra

Really, a group that has helped pass laws in San Francisco? That's who the council will be hearing from? What a joke they are! 81,000 straws per day? What a joke! Maybe the city council should focus on something else a tad more important!

Binnsbum

No bags from retailers...who did Amazon pay for that?

odgreen

I support the straw ban. If you read the article, you saw that students did all the research for it, not the city. The CAC and the City are just taking a few minutes to rightfully agree with the student's concern about protecting the environment they are inheriting from us. I tried my first paper straw the other day and it works just fine. How about we be a little less selfish and try to consider the bigger picture?

ssmcjm

Personally, I don't mind requesting one. I have a disability (Dupuytrens) in both hands which severely limits my dexterity. My hands do not open, and picking up containers is a challenge (much more so with condensation). Go ahead and take 'em away, but you'd better have them available upon request, or you will lose my business (and there are several businesses in Newark/Middletown where that is a serious threat not to be taken lightly).

Righteous One

And you are within your rights as a handicapped to sue the city over this dumb legislation. It seems to me that the CAC should have spent their time talking to businesses and asking them to voluntarily make the change themselves. This is dumb micromanagement to extremes by government IMO.

CitizenOfNewark

Democrat have ruined America

Delyeah

Actually, plastic pollution is ruining America and a single use plastic ban is one way of addressing the problem. I don't know all the words but I think America the beautiful goes something like "sea to shining sea" NOT "plastic trash pile wasteland to plastic trash pile wasteland".

Isaiah T

With all the issues facing Newark, this is what they're going to spend time debating. I'd guess that the majority of those plastic straws come from food establishments. How about making them reponsible for recycling them rather than throwing them in the trash..

tired

Can the gov please get out of my personal life and choices? Don't they have better things to do then to tell me how I carry my groceries home and how I drink my milkshake? If they don't have better things to do, then stop. Just stop. And, stop your eco virtue signaling on my dime.

SashaRawlings

What's next with this liberal council.......make Newark a SANCTUARY CITY !!?? Ban ex-large sugary drinks !!?? Demand that everyone ride a bicycle one day a week !!?? Set up Safe Injection Sites !!??? Reaffirm legal abortion on the last day of the 9th month !!??

SashaRawlings

---The CAC, which claims that 91,000 plastic straws are used daily in Newark,---- That number is so overblown...... it takes the entire Newark population including UD students and says that everyone used multiple straws per day !!!! NO WAY !!

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