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Van Bramer Introduces Bill to Partially Ban Plastic Food Utensils

Photo: Jimmy Van Bramer (Twitter)

Oct. 18, 2019. By Shane O’Brien

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer introduced a bill yesterday that aims to reduce the amount of plastic food utensils in New York City.

The legislation would prohibit take-out and delivery services from providing plastic utensils unless a customer expressly asks for it.

The bill includes plates, bowls, knives, forks, spoons and napkins.

Food establishments could only provide non-reusable utensils by request.

The bill states that the Department of Consumer Affairs would be in charge of issuing violations.

Van Bramer said that the overuse of plastic cutlery has a negative impact on the environment.

“We must reckon with the harmful effects that everyday plastic utensils have on our environment and do everything we can to prevent irreparable harm to our oceans and our planet,” said Van Bramer. “The status quo of including plastic utensils in all food orders by default is unnecessary and unsustainable.”

Van Bramer believes that by adding a simple opt-in feature to food orders, the city could reduce the amount of plastic utensils and also reduce their impact on the environment.

It is estimated that over 40 billion non-reusable plastic utensils are used annually in the United States which leads to the pollution of waterways and streets. Van Bramer argues that the utensils are easily disposable and so they are often thrown onto the street or into a body of water, which endangers wildlife.

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What’s worse are the trucks at Greenpoint fish that completely block the sidewalk effectively directing foot traffic into the street – including many kids on their way to the nearby school.

Time's Up

About time! Half the time restaurants provide plastics despite me explicitly telling them not to.


Great, no more plastic forks. Now how about addressing the harmful effects on the environment caused by the 108th cops who park their cars on the sidewalk?


How exactly does parking on the sidewalk affect the environment? Is it annoying to have to squeeze past them? Absolutely? Is this an issue for the EPA? probably not


Easy. The hot air that comes out of JVB when he brags about initiatives like stopping the cops from parking on the sidewalk, but then never does anything about it, is a significant factor contributing to global warming.


Bamboo utensils.
Only providing utensils if explicitly requested by the order placer.
Only plastic utensils should be made of 100% recycled plastic or bioplastics.

LIC Direct

Finally first time after several years as a public servant something he has proposed that makes sense. Probably got fed up of the plastic forks/utensils from Chinese take-out ending up on his sidewalk in front of his house at Sunnyside Gardens.


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