In Eco-friendly Effort, Schenectady Tries to Ban Plastic Straws

In an effort to become more eco-friendly, the city of Schenectady is working toward an official ban on the use of plastic straws and stirrers, and proposing a starting fine of $100 for businesses that don’t make the switch from plastic to paper or other straw alternatives.

As reported by the Albany Times Union:

“…Plastic straws foul the environment and that it would be nice if Schenectady took the lead in being more environmentally friendly.

“It’s become quite evident straws do not recycle, they stay around forever, they are a hazard and they eventually end up in the ocean, ” said Zalewski-Wildzunas. “When you go to a restaurant, there’s no reason you have to have a straw.”

Plastic straws are a HOT topic, you guys. We did a quick “Just a Minute” video on it last year when it was still kind of a new thing, and since then, businesses both big and small have started to use recyclable straws to decrease the amount of waste we’re producing every time we go through the drive-thru or sit out at a restaurant.

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I have to say I might’ve been a little bit harsh when I first learned about this movement, but only because people have really turned their backs on straws like they’re the worst thing in the world!! We waste A LOT of things ALL the time, but I get it. I’m moving into the mindset that you reallycan make a big difference by changing little things. Especially when you make that little thing a law that people need to abide by.

The obvious downfall of some of the plastic straw alternatives, like paper, is that it starts to go downhill real quick after you toss one of those bad boys in your cold brew coffee. But hey, if it’s going to save the environment and make us all live longer, drink up! I’m way more into the bamboo straws like what you’ll find in the creative cocktails at Dove + Deer, or at Sunhee’s in Troy where you can find stainless steel alternatives to eat and drink out of.

ALSO, I’m kind of into just going no straw at all. Naked drink. I hope if I’m eating out at a restaurant that their dishwasher is heavy duty enough where I don’t need to question whether the glass is clean enough to drink out of.

Anyway, of course there are some haters who are questioning why two Schenectady officials are working to bring this ban into place, so there will be a public hearing to discuss the deets on May 29 if you’re fired up about this and want to take a stand.If it works out, Schenectady will join the University at Albany and a few other local places that have moved forward with an official ban. And hey, at least I know where my guy Marc from OAR stands though since I asked him the other day. He said paper, too.

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