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New Laws Regarding The Use Of Plastics
In Suffolk County

NEW Local Laws Regarding straws and Polystyrene


Effective January 1, 2020, two local laws restrict the use of certain plastic items in Suffolk County. The purpose of these laws is to reduce the use of plastics in Suffolk County and help protect its natural resources.

Local Law 14-2019 prohibits the possession, sale or use of any disposable polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) food service items in all stores and food service establishments.


  • Packaging used for pre-packaged foods that is filled and sealed prior to receipt by a food service establishment is exempt
  • Polystyrene containers used to store uncooked eggs or raw meats, fish, seafood and poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail use are exempt

Local Law 20-2019 requires that single-use beverage straws and stirrers are provided to consumers only upon request.

  • Single-use straws that are individually wrapped in plastic may not be provided.
  • Beverage straws and stirrers, where provided, must be biodegradable or backyard compostable.


  • Beverages provided at a drive-thru window or obtained by the consumer at a selfservice beverage station may be provided with a straw and/or stirrer without request
  • A consumer with a disability or medical condition may be provided with a plastic or other non-biodegradable straw if the consumer so requests
  • Pre-packaged, individual serving beverages that include a small plastic straw as part of the packaging are exempt

Enforcement will be conducted upon inspection by the Department of Health Services, where applicable, or upon complaint. Violations for non-compliance will be cited beginning on January 1, 2020 but formal enforcement will only be pursued for violations cited on or after July 1, 2020. The Department’s focus for the first six months of the year will be educating the business community and the public about these laws, and best practices for compliance.

Further information may be obtained from the Bureau of Public Health Protection at (631) 852-5999.

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901