Southampton Town Board Amends Plastic Straw Ban

Wood drink stirrers, center, are an example of non-plastic stirrers. Christine Sampson photo

On Tuesday, the Southampton Town Board passed a resolution amending the plastic straw and polystyrene legislation to allow non-plastic stirrers at self-service beverage stations. The amendment was sponsored by Councilwoman Julie Lofstad.

The original law required stirrers only be available upon request. According to town officials, the amendment was offered after local business owners raised concerns that this would burden customers, who in some instances would be required to go back to the counter for service, often waiting in line again.

“Our intent for the original legislation is to reduce the amount of garbage that is put into our landfills and water, to make our environment cleaner and safer for humans and animals, and to educate people on the impact garbage has on our earth. Our intent was not to cause undue hardship to our local business owners, hence the amendment to the legislation,” said Councilwoman Lofstad in a press release.

Beginning May 8, food establishments in the Town of Southampton will be prohibited from offering plastic straws, stirrers, and containers made of polystyrene. Restaurants will be permitted to keep a small number of plastic straws on hand for those with physical disabilities who require plastic straws.

This is only the most recent effort to reduce plastic use in the town; in 2014, the town banned single-use plastic bags.