Newark Council Votes Against Straw Ban, Wallace Aims To Educate Those With “Disorder”

Members of the Newark City Council voted to hold off on banning straws altogether on Monday night.

In a unanimous vote, the council agreed to direct Tom Coleman, City Manager, to devise a request only policy for straws in the city of Newark. Coleman was directed by the council to put together a policy that would outline how the city would work with local businesses to reduce the number of straws they offer to their customers.

District 3’s Councilwoman Wallace, who is in favor of a ban, fears that banning straws outright would be met with resistance.

“In my day job I work in communications,  so words matter, I think a ban, while I personally would like to go there, for those types who may have oppositional defiant disorder, it somewhat triggers them when you say, ‘Oh, you can’t use a thing.”, said Wallace.

“The real benefit is education… I would like to move forward with a policy that makes plastic single-use straws by request only…,  I think the caveat is there needs to be a real education reaching out to businesses.”

Teenagers tend to suffer from oppositional defiant disorder but some people don’t grow out of it, Wallace later added.

District 1’s newly elected Councilman James Horning said he needed to learn more about the straw ban proposal.

“I need to see more information in terms of the fiscal impact and expense of either enforcement or even what the resources are going to be to conduct the outreach,” Horning added.

“I don’t think this is the time where we could generate enough enthusiasm from local businesses and the general public to completely ban them,” said Sharon Hughes, District 2’s Councilwoman.

Hughes thinks that a by request only policy is the way to go. “it is a subtle but obvious message to the individual that there’s a problem here. Perhaps starting out request-only will get us a lot quicker to no straws at all.”, said Hughes.

Council will take a look at Coleman’s new policy at a future council meeting.