Nearly 9 in 10 New Yorkers Support Policies That Reduce Single-Use Plastic
Oceana Poll Finds 88% of New York Voters Are Concerned With Single-Use Plastic, Want State Action
Press Release Date: May 9, 2022
Location: New York
Today, Oceana released the results of a new poll finding that 88% of New York voters are concerned about single-use plastic products and support local and state policies to reduce single-use plastic. Additionally, 83% of registered New York voters are concerned about the amount of plastic items used in food delivery and takeout, and 85% support national policies that reduce single-use plastic.
The polling results come at an important time, as the New York state legislature is currently considering two bills that would reduce single-use plastic statewide. Assembly Bill A5383/Senate Bill S8264 would make single-use plastic utensils at restaurants available only upon request by the customer. Assembly Bill A207A/Senate Bill S1505A would eliminate single-use plastic stirrers from restaurants and make single-use plastic straws available only upon request by the customer. According to Oceana’s new poll, 76% of New York voters support policies that reduce the use of plastic straws. New York state’s prior history of single-use plastic legislation includes phasing out plastic foam foodware, plastic bags, and plastic bottles for personal care products at hotels.
“New Yorkers’ eyes are open to the plastic pollution crisis threatening their communities and ocean, and state lawmakers can no longer ignore our calls for government action. The state legislature already has two bills at its fingertips to reduce single-use plastic utensils, straws, and stirrers, and these polling results suggest it would have the support of constituents in passing them,” said Brian Langloss, Oceana’s senior field representative in New York. “New York has always been a leader in environmental action, and it’s clear New Yorkers want lawmakers to honor that reputation by curbing our state’s reliance on plastic and protecting its coastlines for generations to come. It’s time for state lawmakers to heed the call of their constituents and pass these important bills.”
New York depends on clean waterways and coastlines to support 467,000 American jobs and $47.9 billion in GDP in our coastal tourism, fishing, and recreation industries. All of that is put at risk by the staggering amount of plastic entering our oceans and other waterways. Researchers have found that the level of microplastics in the Great Lakes rivals that of the world’s large ocean garbage patches. The estuarine sanctuary in the Hudson River near Manhattan is polluted with an average of 578,333 microplastic particles per square kilometer.
Key findings among surveyed registered New York voters include:
- 88% are concerned about single-use plastic products.
- 84% are concerned about plastic pollution and its impact on the environment and our oceans.
- 83% are concerned about the amount of plastic items used in food delivery and takeout.
- 88% support local and state policies to reduce single-use plastic.
- 85% support national policies that reduce single-use plastic.
- 76% support policies that reduce the use of plastic straws.
- 78% support policies that reduce the use of plastic foam foodware and plastic packaging from online shopping.
- 81% want their elected officials to support policies that reduce plastic pollution.
- 81% say companies should offer them plastic-free options.
Oceana’s poll, conducted by the nonpartisan polling company Ipsos, surveyed roughly 366 adults in New York between Nov. 5 and 9, 2021.
Scientists estimate that 33 billion pounds of plastic wash into the ocean every year. That equates to about two garbage trucks’ worth of plastic entering the ocean every minute. Plastic has been found in every corner of the world and has turned up in drinking water, beer, salt, honey and more. It’s also one of the greatest contributors to climate change. In fact, if plastic were a country, it would be the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
Recycling alone will not solve this problem — only 9% of the plastic waste ever generated has been recycled, and companies continue to push new plastic products onto the market. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increased amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.
To learn more about Oceana’s campaign to stop plastic pollution, please visit usa.oceana.org/plastic
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Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit USA.Oceana.org to learn more.