Skip The Straw Law

The Ulster County "Skip the Straw Law" makes single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and condiment packets on-demand items at eateries and establishments across Ulster County.
The law went into effect in December of 2019 and it covers all of Ulster County.
 Read the local law here:

Local Law Number 7 of 2019: A Local Law Requiring Restaurants And Fast Food Service Establishments Provide Plastic Beverage Straws, Plastic Stirrers, Plastic Cutlery, And Condiment Packets Only Upon Request

Local Law Number 2 of 2019: A Local Law Requiring Restaurants and Fast Food Service Establishments Providing Plastic Beverage Straws Solely Upon Request


Frequently Asked Questions 


What does the Ulster County Skip the Straw “Law” do? 

This law requires that single-use plastic beverage straws, plastic stirrers, plastic utensils or plastic condiment packs only be provided to customers upon the customer’s request.  

 What types of establishments must comply with this law?  

               Any establishment providing prepared food for a customer, either to be eaten on site or for take-out/take away, is required to comply.  

 Does this law apply to drive-thrus? 


 Does this law apply to farms stands, convenience stores and other kinds of kiosks that provide no shelter for customers? 


 Can establishments just leave these items (straws, stirrers, utensils, condiment packs) out for customers to help themselves?  

               Establishments may not leave single-use plastic straws, stirrers, or utensils out for self-service (i.e passive distribution). Single use plastic straws, stirrers, or utensils must be kept “behind the counter” and only provided upon the customer’s request. Establishments may leave condiment packs out at a self-service station.

  Does this law ban single-use plastic law straws, stirrers and utensils?  

               This law does not prohibit or make these items illegal in Ulster County. It only regulates how they are distributed or provided to customers.

 Can items that aren’t single-use plastic be given out? Like paper straws or compostable utensils?  

Yes, this law does not prevent any establishment from providing paper or non-plastic straws or biodegradable alternatives to plastic stirrers and cutlery without a request.  

  The Law states that a sign must be posted informing customers. What does the sign have to say?   

               “Single-Use Plastic Beverage Straw, Single-Use Plastic Cutlery, Single-Use Plastic Stirrers, and/or Single-Use Condiment Packets Available Upon Request.” If an establishment doesn’t offer one of the types of items on the list, they do not have to include it in their sign.



Download the Skip the Straw Poster for printing below! 

To request copies of 8.5 x 11" posters or table tents in the above design, please contact us at environment[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us or (845) 891-6658