The sale of single-use plastic water bottles would be banned at state parks in New York under proposed legislation announced Friday by two state lawmakers.
The bill, which is yet to be formally introduced, would bar the sale of plastic water bottles at any site managed by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as part of an effort to reduce plastic waste.
“Our national and global plastic pollution crisis is directly tied to the climate crisis, with plastic production continuing to increase its share of total global carbon emissions each year, as the weighted amount of plastic in our oceans surpasses the total amount of fish,” said state Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, a sponsor of the bill. “Not only is this good, commonsense environmental policy, it is in line with a national effort to enact a similar ban at United States National Parks."
It's estimated that 1 million single-use water bottles are sold around the world in a minute, but less than a third are recycled. Fahy is sponsoring the bill with state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick.
“As our country and nations around the world struggle to come to grips with the enormity of the challenges presented by the plastic pollution and climate crises, this bill will help New York State be a leader in the fight to decrease plastic pollution going into our environment and the associated impacts to the climate that come with single-use plastic production,” he said. “I look forward to working with my colleague Assemblymember Fahy, environmental advocates, and the many New Yorkers who care about this issue to pass this commonsense legislation in the 2022 legislative session.”
The measure has the backing of environmental and conservation advocates in New York as well, who pointed to the need to further reduce plastic waste. New York has over the last several years sought to cut down on pollution through largley banning single-use plastic bags at retail stores and at grocery stores.
“The New York League of Conservation Voters is excited to see new legislation to reduce single-use plastic use,” said Julie Tighe, the president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “To create a sustainable and clean New York, we need to rethink how we rely on plastic."
Fahy also backs legislation that would require all single-use plastic water bottles to be constructed with recycled materials by 2025 and require all plastic beverage containers to be made with at least 75% recycled material.