ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require restaurants to allow customers to bring in their own reusable food and drink containers.
It's called the Right to Refill Act. Lawmakers hope it could cut down on the use of single use plastic beverage containers across New York state.
Assem. Pat Fahy and Sen. Jen Metzger drafted the bill. The bill protects a consumer's right to bring a reusable beverage or food container into a restaurant or eatery.
Lawmakers say the bill would also allow customers to take home leftovers from a restaurant in one of their own containers.
Fahy says demand for plastic is expected to go up 22 percent in the next five years and hopes this bill can curb that trend.
Fahy said at a press conference Tuesday that 16 billion coffee cups are disposed of every year. And she says a key component of the bill is that it can change habits of consumers by encouraging them to use reusable containers.
It’s similar to other laws that aim to cut down on plastic. Earlier this year the state passed a law banning businesses from handing out single use plastic bags in in the state budget. That takes effect March 1.