Councilman introduces bill to ban plastic straws in NYC

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Plastic straws could soon be a thing of the past in New York City.

City Councilman Rafael Espinal introduced a bill banning plastic straws and coffee stirrers on Wednesday.

They would be banned in restaurants, bars and stadiums across the city.

Espinal says Americans throw out an estimated half-billion plastic straws every single day and he pointed out the damage and negative impact all the plastic trash has on our environment and on ocean life.

"If we continue this trend of using plastic we have been using and the rate we have been using, by 2050 we will have more plastic floating in our ocean than fish," Espinal said.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio agrees that the plastic straws should go.

"If I had it my way, you would be enjoying your last plastic straws in New York City," de Blasio said.

The proposal still allows for environmentally friendly straws made from paper or aluminum.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that recycling alone cannot help us," Espinal said. "We must reduce the consumer product themselves."

Dozens of venues across the city have already given up plastic straws and under the proposal, violators could face fines starting at $100.

The only exception to the law would be those with a disability or medical condition who need a straw to drink.

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