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Southampton approves new straw law

The Town of Southampton is going strawless this spring.

Starting May 8, restaurants in Southampton will no longer offer plastic straws, stirrers, containers and utensils. That also includes those white cups and takeout containers, which are actually not styrofoam but made from a similar material called polystyrene.

The town board approved the ban on Tuesday. The move follows similar bans in areas like Seattle, which was the first major city to pass a straw law.

Common alternatives include straws made from cardboard, stainless steel, glass and silicone.

Under the new law, establishments will still be allowed to have some plastic straws available for customers with disabilities who need them.

Out of 85 food establishments polled by the town’s sustainability committee, 82 supported the ban and some had already stopped offering the polystyrene takeout containers.

According to the town, Southampton residents and visitors throw out an estimated 20 million plastic straws and 8 million polystyrene cups every year. Lots of that trash eventually washes up on Long Island’s beaches and shores.

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