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.
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. Wheat straws 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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