You are reading

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.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

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.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.