The Village of New Paltz Environmental Policy Board members would like to see straws taken off the table in the village. It’s a topic which has been raised before, and board member Don Kerr conferred with trustees at their October 23 meeting about adjusting language for a possible ban.
The strategy would be to simply expand the section blocking plastic bags to include straws, as well. However, deputy mayor KT Tobin wants to include exceptions, saying that there are “valid reasons for using a straw” for certain people.
The village bag ban preceded the ones passed at the county and state levels, and those all have different requirements. Trustees want to make sure they don’t pass a straw ban which could be undermined by state legislators passing a tepid version, as happened with plastic bags. Since the village law doesn’t specifically call out their use in restaurants, the state law — which actually specifically allows them — takes precedence, which is frustrating to local leaders. Look for language to tighten up the plastic bag rules as well as target straws as largely unnecessary waste.