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Van Bramer Aims to Pass Bill That Would Partially Ban Plastic Food Utensils

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (Official New York City Council Photo by William Alatriste)

Nov. 2, 2021 By Christian Murray

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who will be out of office at the end of the year due to term limits, is trying to pass a bill before he leaves that aims to reduce the amount of plastic food utensils in New York City.

The legislation, which he introduced for the first time in 2019, would prohibit take-out and delivery services from providing plastic utensils and napkins unless a customer expressly asks for them. The bill pertains to plates, bowls, knives, forks and spoons.

Food establishments, such as restaurants, could only provide non-reusable utensils by request.

The legislation, dubbed the “Skip the Stuff” Bill, was drafted in collaboration with the Reusable NYC Coalition and the Hospitality Alliance, Van Bramer said.

The bill has 25 sponsors and Van Bramer said that he has been assured that Council Speaker Corey Johnson will put the bill on the floor for a vote before the end of the year.

The bill states that the Department of Consumer Affairs would be in charge of educating restaurants, as well as issuing warnings and fines. Violators would be hit with a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second offense committed within a period of 12 months, and $300 for the third within a year.

Van Bramer said that the use of plastic cutlery is causing significant damage to the environment.

“We must … do everything we can to prevent irreparable harm to our oceans and our planet,” Van Bramer said when he first introduced the bill. “The status quo of including plastic utensils in all food orders by default is unnecessary and unsustainable.”

Van Bramer said the bill would also save restaurants money, since they would no longer need to buy plastic utensils in such quantities.

Last month he wrote an editorial in the New York Daily News touting the bill’s cost-saving and environmental benefits.

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20 Comments

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Cindy

Such a beautiful city council leader inside and out. Please also introduce legislation to limit napkins to one per meal when ordering take out. Most of it goes to waste. Thank you Jimmy!!

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Our Brave Leaders

On their way outs are trading votes to pad their resumes. How about we say no utensils? another law to fine business. If this passes, sound the air raid siren

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ya know

People can’t pay their rent and there’s a line around the block at the food pantry, but yeah, let’s focus on plastic forks.

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Food pantry lines are temporary Plastics are forever

Thank you JVB. No time like the present. Plastics destroy the environment, clogging sewers. Some people don’t know other problems exist if it isn’t up in their faces.

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So are scars

When the metal forks and knives are plunged into your skin from the many, many mental people allowed outside by themselves.

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Comfieslippers

When the current Mayor and this gentleman are out of office, it will be a great day for this city.

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Fran

Hopefully a local politician will read this and do something about all the stray and missing cats in the area. Local precincts refuse to address this issue which is a major problem in our highly progressive neighborhood. Perhaps money can be set aside to hire homeless people to address the cat issues. Missing cat alerts are all over social media and sidewalks. Please help. SSP do a story about it.

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Kayla

Thank you Jimmy Van Bramer for always looking out for the present and future of Sunnyside and NYC. We pray that you will soon run fot another position in public office or that you will be appointed to one by Eric Adams.

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Gardens Watcher

Put a fork in it, he’s done with public service. Better to pray for world peace.

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Woodsider

JVB, you are so out of touch, or simply a liar. This will not save restaurants money. It will cost them money. Either they will be fined for including them to appease customers, or they will lose customers who get incredibly angry when their meals arrive with no utensils.

Takeout and Delivery services already include a field for people placing orders to request or opt out of plasticware. More than 99% always request it.

Being that the technology already satisfies this measure why are you doing this? I’ll answer for you. You like to destroy small business. Hello you’ve destroyed our community.

Good riddance!

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Truth

A bullet went through the window of the Sunnyside library a few months ago—in the CHILDREN’S section. And this guy is worried about forks.

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What a weak comparison

Truth- No other bullet has gone through the library since this one time event and I’ve lived here since that library branch opened. Bullets through the Sunnyside library window was a one time in 50 year even. Hahaha You sound ridiculous. Politicians and most other professionals are more than capable of handling more than one carrot in front of them at a time. Plastics are destroying the planets eco system, sewerage systems and oceans everyday just like guns are being used to destroy the quality of life in many places.

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Grabbing at straws

@Truth – When you reduce the debate to “grammar and syntax”, you lost the debate.

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Not @truth who you responded to

Haha. Stop trying to sound intelligent.

And it’s *You HAVE lost the debate.

Lic direct

On his way out he proposes the only good piece of legislation of his entire career! Jimmy you could have made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of direct and indirect job creation if you stood behind the Amazon project coming to Western Queens, but you blew it. Now you’ll be remembered for the ugly $40 million concrete cube library in Gantry State Park, underused unnecessary bike lanes running our through our neighborhood and the influx of homeless hotels during your reign as councilman.

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Tim's dad

This is a joke, right? Nothing is more honorable than showing you care about the world by eating with your hands. 🤣

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