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HomeNewsNew York Passes “Skip the Stuff” Bill to Reduce Plastic Overuse

New York Passes “Skip the Stuff” Bill to Reduce Plastic Overuse

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New York Passes “Skip the Stuff” Bill to Reduce Plastic Overuse
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New York and the world use a lot of plastic products. However, people do not recycle most of these products. Instead, many end up in waterways or water bodies when disposed of. Therefore, they contaminate water sources and harm fish and marine wildlife. 

While we cannot stop using plastics in our everyday lives, we can reduce it significantly by minimizing single-use plastics. This is what New York City is trying to achieve with its new “Skip the Stuff” bill.

The government announced the new legislation in June, stating that they will start fining restaurants and third-party delivery services that provide disposable utensils, soy sauce packets, and similar items without the customer requesting them.

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Therefore, the bill aims to reduce plastic use by only providing them to consumers who need them and would not just throw them away. Thankfully, violators will not get fines until July 2024. This allows the vendors and delivery services to adjust to the new rules and find the best way to move forward. 

Until they implement the fines in July, the authorities will issue warnings to violators. This new rule comes at a critical time, as the environment suffers from plastic overuse worldwide. Food delivery and takeout are also quite popular and have caused a rise in plastic use.

The “Skip the Stuff” bill will tackle these problems, protecting the environment and reducing the impact of overuse. It would also force restaurants and third-party delivery services to participate actively in preserving the environment. 

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This bill will also benefit the food consumers who would rather not have too many takeout items cluttering their drawers, taking up space, and stacking up. Many people do not understand the impact of excess plastic on our environment.

A few extra spoons or packets may not seem like a big deal, but the bigger picture shows millions of these products in large bodies of water. What’s more, producing these plastic items also causes a lot of air pollution.

To create just a ton of plastic cutlery, about 1,350 to 3,800 more pounds of harmful carbon pollution are released than disposable wooden cutlery. Therefore, wooden cutlery is way better, cheaper, and less environmentally toxic. 

ALSO READ: California Enacts First-of-Its-Kind Law Against Semi-Trucks

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In an interview with Bloomberg, the NYC Hospitality Alliance executive director, Andrew Rigie, discussed this “Skip the Stuff” bill. He said, “We’re happy this law focuses on education first by initially providing a warning for violations, then doesn’t propose the maximum fines allowable, and also places responsibility on the third-party delivery apps to help restaurants comply.” 

Raine Manley, the digital campaign director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, also had something to say regarding this policy. On X (formerly Twitter), he wrote, “#SkipTheStuff was just signed into law by @nycmayor. This moment was years in the making & is an essential step as New York City kicks the single-use plastic habit. My heart is so full!.”

The coming months will show how well the law will do and if it will be successful. 

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