Hudson River Park aims to curtail use of plastic items

WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Hudson River Park is going even greener - with a new initiative aimed at curtailing single-use plastic items.

The measure is built around a voluntary agreement between the 20-year-old park and its restaurants, concession operators and other tenants.

As part of the deal, the vendors cannot sell water in single-use plastic bottles or provide plastic straws.

The park says 13 of its 21 vendors have signed the agreement, and others are considering it.

At the Frying Pan, you will no longer find plastic water bottles, only paper ones. The straws and stirrers have been swapped out for wood and paper.

Food will be served on recycled palm leaf platters. It's all part of the new green partnership agreement with the park. The goal is to get rid of all single-use plastic products.

"It's a conversation and it's something we're working towards growing and including more tenant groups within as time goes," said Carrie Roble, the park's Director of Science and Stewardship.

She showed us some of the plastic debris found in the river. Last summer they cleaned up close to 1,000 pounds.

But the new initiative can be challenging for some of the eateries and boathouses to switch to green while avoiding being in the red.

Take those plastic bottles for example.

"It's about 11 cents a bottle, 11-17 cents a bottle whereas these are 83 cents," said the Frying Pan's Danielle Kurtin. "But regardless of that we look for the future and look to helping this serious issue we need to address."

Looking ahead, any new tenants wanting to do business in the park must sign onto the deal. It's also in renewal leases.

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