GOODER AND HARDER: New York’s Straw Law Will Fine Business for Giving Out Unsolicited Straws, and Also for Not Having Enough Straws.

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Those much-maligned single-use plastics had a brief reprieve during the pandemic. Now they’re back in politicians’ sights.

Those much-maligned single-use plastics had a brief reprieve during the pandemic, when an unfounded fear of COVID’s surface transmitting powers prompted jurisdictions to suspend their bans on bags and straws. One unfortunate consequence of our halting return to normality is that those items are back in officials’ sights.

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Come November, a straw law passed by New York City in May 2021 will go into effect, leaving businesses open to fines for any number of straw-related infractions. That includes the grievous offense of providing a patron with a single-use, non-compostable plastic straw when the customer has not first requested one.

Spurred by some bad stats and bizarre social theories, cities and states started passing these “straw on request” laws in earnest in 2018. Plastics manufacturers and restaurant associations often got on board with them as an alternative to more restrictive bans.

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