Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains why the proposed plastic ban is good for the environment and bad for the restaurant industry.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a ban on Styrofoam products that are commonly used in the restaurant industry as take-home containers. Attorney Nicholas Hicks says environmental groups are praising the ban both in and out of New York. Single-use plastics have been highly controversial due to their negative impacts on the environment. However, many restaurant owners are not on board with the proposed policy.
According to Melissa Fleischut, the President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, there are already hundreds of regulations in place for restaurants to follow. Owners must carefully navigate through the lengthy requirements to stay in business. The proposed Styrofoam ban would be costly to restaurant owners who would need to invest in a new method.
“As we await the details, we’ll advocate for a hardship provision that protects restaurants from dramatic price increases that would negatively affect the feasibility of their operations – as some localities have already chosen to do,” said Melissa Fleischut.
The Democratic Governor’s proposal would also ban single-use materials like packing peanuts. Albany has pushed the environmental agenda for single-use plastics recently, as legislators believe their production contributes to climate change. Additionally, Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that these plastic items sit in landfills forever, contributing to our waste disposal issues.
In developing countries, single-use plastics often make their way into our oceans and waterways. These items are known for killing animals, causing polluting chemicals, and generally making our world dirty. The plastic crisis has led the European Parliament to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws, and drink stirrers to help combat the problem. Will New York officials made headway towards progress as well?
Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that the proposed single-use plastic ban will go into effect in March of 2020. Although this is a step in the right direction, environmental groups have already identified loopholes in the regulations. Many fear the loopholes will provide little to no change in their area, despite the policy being deemed as progressive.
There are already lawmakers in New York that want to push the issue even further next year by banning plastic straws and utensils. Restaurant owners again fear for new hidden costs that could be looming around the corner. Fortunately, there is some time for restaurant owners to figure out their new plan of action before the ban goes into effect. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that there are now many alternatives available, including utensils made of bamboo and biodegradable takeout containers made of thick cardboard and paper. Some bowls and paper plates are also made out of bamboo.
Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care as a child at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.