What’s the Story?
The state of New York is considering adopting a statewide rule which would ban full-service, dine-in restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws to customers unless they are requested by the customer. It’s commonly referred to as a “straws-upon-request” rule. The bill is currently being reviewed by the Environmental Conservation Committee in the New York State Senate.
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How Would the Ban Affect Me?
If your restaurant supplies straws that are made of a sustainable alternative—like wheat, stainless steel, paper, or bamboo—then you’re good to go: you don’t need to change anything. However, if you currently supply single-use plastic straws, you may be required to comply with the new law.
The upon-request rule would apply to restaurants where food and beverages are served on the premises, or “dine-in” restaurants. Regulations would not apply to businesses where customers consume food and beverages off-premises, such as food carts or drive-through sections of restaurants.
If the bill passes, dine-in restaurants caught giving out single-use plastic straws without being asked could face fines of up to $400. The first violation would result in a written warning, and any violations after will draw fines between $100 and $400, depending on the number of citations.
How Can I Stay Compliant?
If the bill passes, your dine-in restaurant would be able to continue to keep single-use plastic straws in stock, but only deliver them if a customer asked for one first. However, you may be able to continue serving straws automatically to each customer if you switch to a reusable or compostable alternative. HAY! Straws® made from Wheat stems are among the most natural and affordable alternatives that offer an experience similar to single-use plastic.
If you choose to continue stocking single-use plastic straws, then complying with the “upon request” rule is about getting used to a new procedure. You would need to prepare your employees to break the habit of handing out plastic straws to every dine-in customer—they would need to ask for it first.
Why Are HAY! Straws® a Great Choice?
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