Lawmakers pushing for bill to allow reusable food, beverage containers at restaurants

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New legislation seeks to reduce the amount of single-use food containers and cups at New York State restaurants.

“We now use 16 billion coffee cups a year,” Pat Fahy, NYS Assemblymember, said.

In order to reduce waste, a new bill would set guidelines for bringing reusable food and beverage containers when you go out to eat. Under the measure food establishments that serve beverages in single-use cups would not be allowed to refuse a customer’s request that their drink go in their own reusable mug or cup instead.

“We think that allowing people that freedom for those who want to practice good behavior to bring their reusable containers, we think should be allowed too.

The President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association says while they “encourage sensible measures that are good for our environment:”

“We must be mindful of placing additional burdens on restaurants that already struggle to navigate all the government red tape associated with hundreds of regulations. And any containers brought from home must be safe and pose no contamination risk.”

“There are ways to do it and we look forward actually to working with the restaurant association. We want to make this a doable, workable practice. And, in the end, we know it actually saves money.”

The bill also states that the re-usable containers be subject to cleanliness and material standards.

Additionally, it calls for restaurants to post signage about permission to bring the reusable containers.

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