Last straw for New Paltz?

(Photo by Lauren Thomas)

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.


There are 7 comments

  1. Lapping Tongue

    How about all the white inside red plastic beer cups strewn all along the sidewalks, lawns and streets? Those suck as much as straws.

  2. Robert Harris

    Where does this nonsense stop ?? What has happened to our country. City’s. & states ?? I understand that the bags kill animals & even fish &. Turtles. But when does common sense take hold here ??? Concentrate on. Crimes , burglaries. Rapes , assaults . I’m sorry. But o think we have bigger items to be concerned about. Just my opinion .

  3. Liz

    I strongly support a ban on this wasteful practice. The few people who need straws for medical reasons should be given an exception. Other than that, straws should not be allowed. They are wasteful and not necessary. Human population has soared to such extremes on this planet that we must be careful to not allow waste that will outlive us all!

    1. Rich Graham

      Making an exception for medical reasons seems to be a sensible approach. Maybe the engineering or science department dealing with research on materials at SUNY New Paltz could set up a task force on creating a biodegradable material which could be molded into straws or, if that is not viable, the town should consider sponsoring a GoFundMe site to raise money for them to research the idea during their spare time. The University is a great resource and by pairing it with the town, the synergy created might be enough to solve a pressing problem facing humanity worldwide while reinforcing NewPaltz’s image as both a revolutionary and innovative hub. If their “quest” is successful, it might eventually lead to more jobs – setting up a factory (perhaps a worker guided cooperative company modeled on the Mondragon Corporation, Spain’s seventh largest, which is largely responsible for Barcelona’s prosperity) to make biodegradable straws (and bags) would be a way for New Paltz to become a center for sustainable development at a time when the human species is facing what may be the greatest threat to its survival…..

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