Mayor orders end to purchase of single-use plasticware

New York City will end the direct purchase of single-use plasticware by the end of the year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.  Through an executive order, all city agencies will be required to switch to compostable or recyclable alternatives to plastic straws, cutlery, plates, bowls, and trays.

He called single-use plastic products a "pervasive threat" to the city.

"Big oil has been pushing single-use plastics for too long – and it stops here," de Blasio said. "They litter our beaches and parks, jam our recycling machines, and contribute to climate change. Our actions today will help us build a fairer city for all New Yorkers."

De Blasio said carbon emissions were the leading cause of climate change, which is causing higher temperatures, more frequent and severe extreme weather events, and sea-level rise, which threatens New York City’s 520 miles of coastline.

He also threw his support behind a measure to eliminate single-use plastic utensils in private businesses across the city.  City council is currently debating the potential ban.

Businesses would be required to keep "a sufficient supply" of plasticware on hand for people with disabilities.

The executive order comes as a ban of single-use foam products went into effect earlier this year.   A ban on single-use plastic bags is expected to take effect across the state next year.