Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and AM Patricia Fahy introduce legislation to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in NYS Parks

Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

October 21, 2021

NYACK, NY - Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick stood with environmental advocates on Thursday at Nyack Beach State Park to announce new legislation that would ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in New York State Parks managed by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The legislation is supported by the Sierra Club, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Keep Rockland Beautiful.

One million single use plastic water bottles are sold around the world every minute, but less than a third of these will be recycled. Most of the single-use plastic water bottles created will eventually find their way into landfills, lakes, rivers, and oceans, leaching chemicals and micro-plastics into our water supply. The vast majority of single-use plastic water bottles are made from fossil fuels, and their production and shipment significantly contribute to man-made climate change.

State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (D-Rockland/Westchester) said, “As our country and nations around the world struggle to come to grips with the enormity of the challenges presented by the plastic pollution and climate crises, this bill will help New York State be a leader in the fight to decrease plastic pollution going into our environment and the associated impacts to the climate that come with single-use plastic production. I look forward to working with my colleague Assemblymember Fahy, environmental advocates, and the many New Yorkers who care about this issue to pass this common sense legislation in the 2022 legislative session.”

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany), said “Our national and global plastic pollution crisis is directly tied to the climate crisis. As a longtime advocate in the fight to combat climate change, protect our natural environment and resources, and reduce our plastic carbon and waste footprint, I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Reichlin-Melnick, and look forward to tackling the larger issues of plastic pollution and plastics-related carbon emissions.”

Gale Pisha, Co-chair of Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter’s Legislative Committee and member of Rockland Sierra Club, said “I am privileged today to support this simple but important legislation on behalf of over 50,000 members of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter in NYS. By banning the sale of these unsustainable single use plastic bottles in our state parks, Senator Reichlin-Melnick and Assemblymember Fahy’s bill takes an important step towards freeing us from the scourge of single use plastics and protecting our health. Sierra Club applauds these legislators’ concern for the environment and stands with them to urge the NYS legislature to pass this bill.”

“The New York League of Conservation Voters is excited to see new legislation to reduce single-use plastic use. To create a sustainable and clean New York, we need to rethink how we rely on plastic. We applaud Senator Reichlin-Melnick and Assemblymember Fahy for introducing this important legislation that will decrease our use of plastic water bottles in New York State Parks and reduce litter,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters

“This legislation to prohibit the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in state parks managed by the Office of Parks, Recreation, Historic Preservation is a powerful step forward in reducing the ubiquitous plastic waste that, from manufacture to disposal, pollutes our air, water, and land” said Sonia Cairo, Executive Director, Keep Rockland Beautiful.

Senator Reichlin-Melnick and Assemblymember Fahy will be introducing the bill in the coming days.