Mayor Adams Signs Student Disabilities, And Single-Use Plastic Legislation

February 1, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed two pieces of legislation.

The first to support high school students with disabilities as they transition to higher education and a second to reduce unnecessary waste of single-use plastic when ordering take-out or food delivery, helping secure a more sustainable future.

On the heels of Mayor Adams’ announcement to expand pre-school special-education seats from Harlem to Hollis for young New Yorkers with disabilities, Intro 660-A builds on the city’s commitment to serving students with disabilities at all ages by focusing on students in high school.  

Intro 559-A — also known as the “Skip the Stuff” bill — will prohibit restaurants and food delivery platforms from providing eating utensils, extra eating containers, condiment packets, and napkins to customers for take-out and delivery orders unless the customer specifically requests them, reducing unnecessary single-use plastic use.

“I’m proud to sign these two pieces of legislation today. For too long, our students with disabilities have struggled in a system that hasn’t been able to fully meet them where they are,” said Mayor Adams. “Being able to succeed while attending a higher education institution involves more than just being able to attend classes and studying — it means having the available support and accommodation to succeed. Intro 660-A will help provide that support, making it easier for students with disabilities to enter higher learning institutions. This second piece of legislation will help us secure a sustainable future by reducing plastic that ends up in our landfills. Intro 559-A allows New Yorkers to ‘Skip the Stuff’ when ordering take-out or delivery, preventing unused plastic from ending up in our landfills, and making our city greener for generations to come.” 

“The transition from high school to higher education can be daunting,” said City Hall Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire. “This law seeks to improve New Yorkers’ access to higher education disability resources, and reflects this administration’s continuing commitment to supporting New Yorkers with disabilities.” 

“Today’s bill signing moves us another step away from single-use plastics,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “New York City is the takeout capital of the world, and the removal of unnecessary waste from our takeout orders is a necessary step towards a cleaner, greener city.” 

“Nearly every New Yorker has it: the dreaded drawer full of old takeout forks, spoons that accompanied forgotten soups, and chopsticks of days gone by. And you know what’s worse than having that plastic take up space in your home? Having it sit for centuries in a landfill — a silent memorial that will outlive the restaurants it came from by hundreds of years,” said New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “The ‘Skip the Stuff’ bill is a small change that will reduce our plastic waste. I want to thank the City Council for passing it and Mayor Adams for signing it into law.” 

Intro 660-A — sponsored by New York City Councilmember Eric Dinowitz— establishes a program to help high school students with disabilities who are moving to institutions of higher education obtain accommodations and help them access related supports. This legislation will ensure that New York City’s high school students living with disabilities are supported during their move to higher education, and have the resources they need for a smooth transition.

Intro 559-A —sponsored by New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velazquez — prohibits food service establishments, couriers who deliver food, and food delivery platforms from providing eating utensils, extra eating containers, condiment packets, and napkins to customers for take-out and delivery orders unless the customer specifically requests them. At a time when New York City continues to fight the impacts of climate change, this legislation will reduce the amount of waste in the city’s waste stream and limit the use of single-use plastics.

“The council is laser-focused on enacting smart and practical legislation that furthers our city’s commitments to equity, sustainability, and support for all New Yorkers,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Now that the ‘Skip the Stuff’ bill has been signed into law, small businesses will be able to cut costs and reduce waste. Our legislation to support students with disabilities secure accommodations will help them thrive in their pursuit of higher education and beyond. I thank Councilmembers Marjorie Velazquez and Eric Dinowitz for their leadership on these important bills, our council colleagues for their support, and Mayor Adams for officially signing them into law.”

“As a public school special education teacher for over a decade, I am so thrilled that this administration is sending a clear signal that students with disabilities are a priority,” said New York City Councilmember Eric Dinowitz. “Based on my experience in the classroom, this bill will ease the transition from high school to college, ensuring future success. I want to thank Mayor Adams for taking the opportunity to spotlight this important legislation.” 

“With Intro 559, “Skip the Stuff,” now signed into law, we have the opportunity to put money back into the pockets of our small businesses while also minimizing the city’s carbon footprint, making New York a more sustainable city,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez, chair, Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection. “If we continue using single-use plastics and other non-recyclables, future generations will feel the repercussions.”

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