Single-use plastic ban in state parks proposed
State parks could be the next area to eliminate single use plastic bottles.
Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, D-Nanuet, recently introduced S.7463 to amend the state Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law to prohibit the sale of single use plastic water bottles in state parks managed by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. That would include Long Point State Park, Midway State Park and Allegany State Park.
“The state should take proactive steps to mitigate its carbon footprint, Reichlin-Melnick wrote in his legislative justification. “Prohibiting state parks from selling single-use plastic bottles is a simple, straight-forward approach to reducing our carbon footprint and curbing plastic pollution in natural areas and waterways. This bill carries no direct fiscal implications to the state, however some state parks may choose to install reusable water bottle refilling stations or water fountains as an alternate source of hydration.”
Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, D-Albany, has co-sponsored companion legislation in the state Assembly. Several environmental groups support the legislation, including the Sierra Club and New York League of Conservation Voters. The legislators said one million single use plastic water bottles are sold around the world every minute, but less than a third will be recycled. Most of the single-use plastic water bottles created will eventually find their way into landfills, lakes, rivers, and oceans, leaching chemicals and micro-plastics into the water supply.
“Our national and global plastic pollution crisis is directly tied to the climate crisis. As a longtime advocate in the fight to combat climate change, protect our natural environment and resources, and reduce our plastic carbon and waste footprint, I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Reichlin-Melnick, and look forward to tackling the larger issues of plastic pollution and plastics-related carbon emissions,” Fahy said in a news release.
Fahy has also introduced legislation legislation in each of the last two legislative sessions to require single-use beverage containers to be made with 75% recycled materials (A.3193) and legislation (A.3194) that would prohibit the sale or manufacture of single-use plastic water bottles made of less than 100% recycled materials and to amend the state Public Health Law to require restaurants to provide tap water to customers in reusable beverage containers upon request.
Neither bill has yet progressed out of their respective committees.