Anyone ordering takeout in Westchester will be forced to go without plastic utensils or single-use condiment packets unless they remember to ask for them, thanks to a new law.
Do you agree with the new law regarding single-use utensils and condiment packets?
The new legislation, signed into law by County Executive George Latimer on Monday, March 6 after being passed unanimously by the Board of Legislators, is aimed to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the county's waste stream, according to county officials.
The law stipulates the following:
- No restaurant can provide single-use utensils or condiment packets to takeout or dine-in customers unless they are specifically asked for;
- Single-use plastic beverage stirrers or "splash sticks" are no longer allowed, although retail stores can still sell packages of them to customers;
- When single-use plastic utensils or condiment packets are requested, they must be provided individually and not in a package containing multiple items.
Latimer called the law a "commonsense measure."
"As we have highlighted time and time again, Westchester County is reducing what we are putting into our waste stream," Latimer continued, also saying, "Westchester County is leading the way on reducing waste and I am proud to sign this measure into law."
The bill's main sponsors, Legislator Erika Pierce and Chairwoman Catherine Borgia. also commented on the law.
"Our board is hyper-focused on making Westchester a zero-waste county, and this bill puts us in the right direction. “Upon Request” will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but it gives the added benefits of saving food service businesses money during a time of financial uncertainty," Borgia said.
"We are drowning in unnecessary single-use items, most of which are made of plastic and all of which are being paid for by our local businesses," Pierce said, adding, "local business owners pay for them; we pay to dispose of them, and those who live near the areas where they have been disposed of pay again. This common-sense law is a simple but bold step for Westchester."
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