Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor signed an executive order restricting the sale of single-use plastic beverage bottles on city-owned along with leased properties which implies that the bottles could disappear from an area that is nearly equivalent to a quarter of the city. The move also bans city agencies from buying or selling beverages that are packaged in single-use plastic containers.
A ‘Big Move’ to tackle the plastic problem
The move would knock out a minimum of 1 million single-use plastic beverage bottles that the city purchases each year, according to the executive order. It could also have bigger effects since the city owns or leases over 17,000 properties which cover an area about twice the size of Manhattan (roughly 43,000 acres). That consists of city parks and, by extension, two skating rinks in Central Park and golf course in Ferry Point Park in the Bronx owned by The Trump Organization.
The Verge reported that Ben Kallos who is the city councilman said, “Take that Trump.” Kallos suggested two bills in 2018 that were made to stop the city from selling single-use plastic bottles on city property. He’s still asking and pushing the city council to roll out legislation to codify the ban into law, in case another future mayor tries to undo de Blasio’s executive order.
“We can change what normal is and get to a more sustainable future,” Kallos says. “We don’t have a choice because there is a climate emergency and we can show Trump the right way to do it.”
In 2017, Donald Trump terminated the restrictions on sales of bottled water in US National Parks that had been in action since 2011. Trump has also called back dozens of environmental protections since taking charge of the office.
Going for Feasible Options
The latest ban in New York City would be implied by January 1st, 2021. It applies to bottles that have fluid weighing 21 ounces or less, and some exceptions would be made “where reusable options are infeasible,” according to the executive order. It’s also noteworthy that New York City tap water is considered safe for drinking, which makes the transition to reusable containers smoother than in places such as Michigan, Flint, where tap water is not safe for drinking.
New York City is likely going to become the first municipality to impose a limit on plastic bottle sales for not just water, but for every beverage. In 2014, San Francisco also decided to ban selling bottled water on city property and widened that policy to San Francisco International Airport last year. Concord, Massachusetts, rolled out a city ordinance in 2012 terminating the sale of bottled water anywhere in the town.
Plastic pollution is engulfing the planet, paving its way into the bellies of aquatic life and worsening the climate crisis because it’s made with fossil fuels. Less than 10 percent of all plastics that have been thrown away have been recycled.
“They are hurting the earth,” de Blasio said as he signed the executive order. “We don’t need them. Time to get rid of them.”
Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]