There are so many forms of plastic that have been banned in New York State. Plastic bags anyone? That it has people scratching their heads as to whether or not you can get plastic utensils on a to-go order, or whether there will be condiments in those little containers with your order as well.

What is 'legal' and what is not? Have plastic straws and plastic coffee stirrers been banned? Are they illegal? Are we banning things because there is a great deal of waste involved in single-use plastics, or does it have to do with plastics in our oceans? Who can keep up!

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Has New York State banned the use of coffee stirrers yet? Are they (the stirrers) officially evil?

Cup of Coffee
Photo Courtesy of Samantha Knoop

As of the writing of this article, single-use plastic items have been banned only in New York City. A customer can ask for a straw, but it has to be the kind that is compostable, not plastic and can only be provided when the customer asks for it. 

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When will the rest of New York State be banning plastic straws and stirrers?


There is a bill that has been introduced in the New York State Senate in January of 2023, that is asking for the ban of single-use plastic items like straws and coffee stirrers. So, if you are getting a beverage to-go, it will have a lid, but not automatically a straw?

Wait, can a person get a straw in New York State if they ask for it at a restaurant?

Girl with coffee and mobile phone

Yes, the bill will allow for that. To clarify, the bill says that yes, a restaurant can supply one to a customer, but it has to be requested first and it cannot be made of plastic. The full bill that is in the New York State Senate, click here. 

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