A Plastic Bottle Ban In Parks? Councilmembers Introduce Bill

A Plastic Bottle Ban In Parks? Councilmembers Introduce Bill
City green spaces, like Prospect Park, would see a ban on single-use plastic bottles through new legislation introduced to the City Council today (Photo credit: Martin Seck)

Earlier this year, Prospect Park went permanently car-free. Recently, the Mayor announced Central Park would follow suit. But what’s the latest thing to be banned from New York’s parks? I might very well be your bottle of Poland Spring.

Today, City Councilmembers introduced a bill that would ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles both in New York City’s parks and on its beaches. Introduced by Bushwick’s Councilmember Rafael Espinal (D-37) and Councilmember Ben Kallos, the bill is framed as a response to President Trump’s move to repeal a six-year ban on plastic bottles in American’s National Parks.

“In the face of the Trump administration’s regressive and profit-driven agenda, it is time we step up and do our part to curb our reliance on single-use bottles. If we have any hope of sustaining our planet, lessening our consumption will reduce the amount of fossil fuels emitted into the planet and prevent these products from polluting our environment. I look forward to making reusable containers—not single-use bottles—the new norm in New York City parks and beaches,” said Espinal in a statement.

The bill was authored after a request by the Sierra Club, though the NYC branch of the environmental organization is looking to the potential ramifications beyond cutting down on plastic and litter.

“Going forward there will be a greater need for more drinking water fountains and their maintenance throughout the City to make it easier for residents to refill their reusable bottles. The bottle bill and these other actions are important to protect our precious and invaluable municipal water supply,” they wrote in a statement.

This latest move in the ongoing fight against plastic waste in New York City would be a major step towards reducing the amount of landfill plastic used by New Yorkers. Previously, the contentious “Plastic Bag Bill,” which would’ve imposed a 5-cent fee for using plastic bags at stores in New York was unceremoniously killed by Governor Cuomo early last year.


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