Straw poll shows majority support for city ban

PLATTSBURGH — In a show of growing environmental concern, residents have voiced majority support for reducing plastic pollution within city limits.

In response to a controversial proposal to ban plastic straws, cocktail picks and swizzle sticks, nearly 900 residents and vendors recently weighed in on the issue in an online poll created by the City of Plattsburgh Common Council.

The proposal comes amid similar movements across the country and in response to a push by a recent graduate of Plattsburgh High School, where fellow students quickly joined Rory Fisher’s campaign for change.

Plattsburgh City Councilor Rachelle Armstrong (Ward 1) applauded the educational activism also taken by Stafford Middle School students, including the Voyager Club, in recent weeks, polling students about the straw ban and creating a dialogue about environmental issues within the younger generation.

Armstrong called the students’ movement against straws “part of a more comprehensive plan.”

PLASTIC BAGS

The Survey Monkey poll also collected interesting data on local opinions about a range of recycling efforts beyond the ongoing discussions about banning the plastic items from use in commercial food vendor establishments.

Results of the online survey showed 61 percent of those polled supported a plastic straw ban in a movement to help reduce plastic waste locally.

While other measures are not currently proposed, questions were posed on other potential city-wide recycling efforts.

Councilor Mike Kelly (W2) detailed the polls results at Thursday’s Common Council meeting, noting that 80 percent of those polled also supported banning single-use plastic bags and two thirds of poll takers would also get behind city compost collection.

But, Kelly noted, “those are things to think about in the future.”

No action was taken on the proposed straw ban, but Armstrong moved to usher the issue forward with further discussion among councilors and having a committee look into the issue more extensively.