Plastic Straws Are Losing Their Status In New York City

Source: The New York Times/Priya Krishna

 Finally, it’s warm enough to walk the streets of New York while nursing an iced coffee, a chilled juice or a cold soda. It’s straw season.

But in many quarters, the ubiquitous plastic straw has suddenly become a pariah for the harm it can do to the environment.

The United States alone uses and discards millions of plastic straws every day, according to Eco-Cycle, a nonprofit group that promotes recycling. While straws account for only a small fraction of the single-use plastics in circulation or in landfills, their size and shape make them a threat to marine life; the straws can entrap animals and be swallowed whole by fish.

Online campaigns like Stop Sucking and the Last Plastic Straw have declared war on the straws. Some cities, including Seattle and Malibu, Calif., have banned them. Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, has vowed to outlaw the sale of plastic straws before the end of the year.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo have railed against plastic bags. (Mr. Cuomo recently introduced a bill to outlaw single-use plastic bags.)

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