A debate is shaping up this year over what to do with plastic foam containers and plastic straws like the ones you find at restaurants. And some business owners aren't happy with the proposed changes.
Lawmakers want to eliminate plastic straws. Governor Cuomo wants to ban styrofoam containers. Business owners, however, say not so fast.
Charles Guptill is getting fed up with Albany County's plastic straw ban.
"It's very frustrating when they enact it and they leave you nothing to use or nothing to replace that item with," he said.
Guptill is the co-owner of a roller rink and ice cream stand in Albany County. His business serves drinks like sodas and milkshakes. He says it should be up to customers as to whether they want to use a straw.
"A lot of people choose not to use them for soda beverages or water, and that's fine, that's the way it should be left," Guptill said.
New York state this year could back a statewide ban on plastic straws. Governor Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, wants to ban plastic foam containers. Kevin Dugan of the New York Restaurant Association says these costs will add up, and be passed on to the consumer.
"At some point, those costs are going to have to be passed along to the customers, who are, again, already stretched to the max," Dugan said.
Right now, many of the bans on plastic utensils and foam have been enacted on the county or local government level. That's made things more complicated for businesses that have multiple locations.
"Bringing everyone under this umbrella if it does get that far, something that involves the entire state, rather than having everyone do their own thing here and there, makes everything more difficult," Dugan said.
Supporters of the bans say the proposed bans are meant to combat pollution and reduce the use of petroleum products. Cuomo is expected to include his foam ban in his 2020 State of the State agenda.