“This ground-breaking legislation will help raise awareness of the issue of marine plastic pollution while thoughtfully addressing the needs of people with disabilities.” – John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs
NEW YORK – May 12, 2021 – The following statement is from John Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):
“The Wildlife Conservation Society thanks New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Councilmember Helen Rosenthal and the entire New York City Council for passing the Single-Use Plastic Straws Bill (Int. 936A) to reduce the amount of plastic waste that winds up in our waterways.
“This ground-breaking legislation will help raise awareness of plastic pollution currently harming marine wildlife around the world while thoughtfully addressing the needs of people with disabilities. WCS scientists working from the Arctic Ocean to Fiji see these impacts every day. Scientific studies demonstrate that single-use plastics are entering New York's waters, and threatening wildlife and ultimately human health. Eventually these plastics break down into smaller pieces, known as microplastics, which wildlife, and potentially humans, ingest.
“It was critical that we got this legislation right, which is why the final version of this bill reflects consensus reached by leaders of the environmental, accessibility, and hospitality communities and is a great show of leadership by our City’s advocates and elected officials. It is only by working together that we will be able to solve the monumental problem of plastic pollution.
“This bill still allows food service establishments to offer consumers straws that are safe for the environment and includes an exemption that requires food service establishments to provide plastic straws upon request without inquiry for people with disabilities who need them.
“Today our waters are a little cleaner thanks to the New York City Council and this new legislation. We look forward to the rapid signing of this bill just in time for beach season.”