Suffolk lawmakers approve Styrofoam, plastic straw ban

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RIVERHEAD -

The Suffolk Legislature on Tuesday passed legislation banning the use of polystyrene, or Styrofoam, containers throughout the county.

Environmentalists call it a crucial step in cutting down on the most common form of plastic pollution. Jordan Christensen, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the chemical styrene is a potential carcinogen that can leak into food in hot temperatures.

The Legislature also passed a bill regarding plastic straws. Restaurants, delis and other food service establishments would only be able to provide a straw if asked for one. And the straw cannot be plastic; it must be biodegradable.

Chris Arvans, owner of Sweet Hollow Diner in Melville, says he'll support the move if it applies to all businesses.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone must sign the bill before it can become law. A spokesperson says he's reviewing it. If signed, it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

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