The Eastern Long Island Chapter has been active in plastic pollution education and public awareness for many years. In 2016, the chapter helped to pass plastic bag legislation in Suffolk County. As a result of the chapter's plastic work, Suffolk County legislator Kara Hahn put chapter representative Colleen Henn on the Suffolk County Single-Use Plastics Reduction Task Force in 2018. The task force has moved a set of four bills aimed at reducing single-use plastic waste in Suffolk County, NY including a local law to prohibit the use of plastic straws with some exceptions, Local Law 1113. Text of the bill is linked here.
The Chapter supports this bill which would ban plastic straws and make paper or backyard biodegradable straws available only by request. There is an exception for people with disabilities so retailers can keep a small supply of plastic straws on hand to accommodate those customers.
These bills supersede a number of polystyrene foam, balloon, and straw bans that took place in local towns in Eastern Long Island.
This law passed the full Suffolk County Legislature, and was signed by County Executive Ballone on Earth Day, April 22nd 2019. The law will be effective January 1st, 2020.