Customers will have to specifically request plastic drinking straws under new state law

A new state law seeks to reduce plastics pollution. Under the law, restaurants, fast food spots and convenience stores are not allowed to give customers plastic straws unless they specifically ask for one. But the customers say that this is still better than the other options.
“I don’t like [paper straws] at all. They dissolve when you use them. If you don’t drink it right away, they get all mushy,” says Seth Apirian, of Randolph.
The law goes into effect on Thursday, Nov. 4.
Many of the New Jersey residents who spoke with News 12 New Jersey said that they do not like paper drinking straws. But many said that they would use them if needed for the benefit of the environment, or ditch using straws altogether.
“Personally, plastic is more durable, but for ecofriendly wise for the environment, I’d definitely have to go with paper,” says Paramus resident Steve.
Victoria Tahhan, of Hackensack, says, “I’d rather forego the straw and drink out of the bottle or the glass. Because I don't love the paper ones - but I will not use the plastic ones.”
According to people in the service industry like the owners of the Candlewyck Diner in East Rutherford, pretty soon customers may not be able to get paper or plastic straws, and it has nothing to do with state laws or the environment.
“Because of the pandemic and supply-chain issues, we don’t have the products to give to begin with, so whether it's plastic or whether it's paper, it’s a struggle at this point," says Candlewyck Diner owner Emanuel Logotagtis.
The new restriction on plastic straws is part of a larger state law enacted in 2020. It also includes a full ban on plastic grocery and carryout bags that starts next May.
Customers can still buy packages of plastic straws at the store and get drinks that come with a prepackaged straw, like a juice box.