Target: Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
Goal: Ban the use of plastic straws in New York City restaurants and other businesses.
While global efforts to cut back on plastic use and promote recycling have been promising, progress is not being made fast enough to save marine species from becoming extinct. New York City lawmakers are now proposing a ban on the use of plastic straws in all restaurants citywide. The time has come to stop allowing these unnecessary products to litter beaches and cause harm to wildlife.
This proposed straw ban follows a failed attempt in New York City to add a five-cent fee on plastic and paper bag use. While the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has said that he supports banning plastic bags statewide, he has not yet commented on New York’s plans to ban disposable plastic straws. His influence and support could help sway public opinion and make it more likely that this ban will pass.
Plastic straws are wasteful and can be easily replaced with biodegradable ones made from paper or bamboo, or from reusable materials like metal. With the world facing a major catastrophe caused by the glut of plastic filling our oceans, the time to act is now. Help New York City lead the national movement to ban plastic straws and sign the petition below to urge Governor Cuomo to lend his support.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
Plastic straws used in New York City restaurants are contributing to a global catastrophe as oceans become filled with plastic waste that harms wildlife and pollutes the water. Unlike straws made from biodegradable materials like bamboo or paper, plastic straws remain in the environment for many years and break down into smaller pieces that can kill or sicken marine creatures. That is why New York City council member Rafael Espinal is proposing a bill that would ban the use of plastic straws in all restaurants and businesses citywide.
This ban has already gained the support of over 130 local businesses, including many famous restaurants, museums and hotels. What this movement does not yet have, however, is your support and ability to influence public opinion. That is why we urge you to publicly offer your support for this ban and all other efforts to reduce plastic use throughout New York State.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: JnL
Target: Thomas F. O’Mara, Chairman of the New York Senate Committee for Environmental Conservation
Goal: Ban plastic bags that are polluting the oceans and harming marine life.
April 22nd marked the 48th Earth Day, and this year’s festivities included a major call to action to end plastic pollution. Degraded plastic releases pollutants that threaten wildlife worldwide, especially in our oceans. Even non-degraded plastic bags and other material can create a dangerous hazard for animals that may ingest or become trapped in the material. Current estimates put the number of oceanic animals killed per year due to plastic pollution at around 100,000.
While increased education and awareness about this issue and about recycling can fuel future action, now our best tools for change rest within the legal framework. Currently, many countries and regions ban single-use plastic bags that cannot be reused. Americans go through 100 billion of these oil-based products per year and use each for an average of only twelve minutes. Those few minutes can create a lifetime of long-term damage. Consider if just one major US state could put a dent in this danger and set an example for the rest of the country.
Currently, New York leadership is considering just such a step. Sign this petition and encourage one of the leading US states to ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags for the future of our water sources and the living beings who rely on these sources.
Dear Senator O’Mara,
“A devastating toll on our streets, our water, and our natural resources…”
These are the powerful and true words Governor Cuomo used to highlight the tremendous impact plastic pollution has on our environment. The New York State Plastic Bags Task Force provided concrete form to Governor Cuomo’s grave assertions. Every lake, stream, and ocean provides irrefutable anecdotal evidence of this danger, from turtles with plastic traces found in their carcasses to fish trapped in discarded trash. The negative cycle of plastic pollution will inevitably pose a public health danger as well.
We urge you to join cities and states around the world by approving the bill that would ban deadly single-use plastic bags. Honor your governor’s vow to protect our environment and all of its inhabitants.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Derek Keats