City Ban On Sugary Drinks Larger Than 16 Ounces To Start Tuesday
The city's ban on larger-sized sugary drinks goes into effect on Tuesday, which means big changes at many local eateries. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
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Pizzas are in the oven at Bario's Pizzeria, and as the shop preps for the busy lunchtime crowd, owner Mario Rapaglia is also preparing for what he calls a stupid change set to go into effect Tuesday: a ban on large sugary drinks.
"You want to tell me how I'm supposed to deliver 10 pies to a public school and tell them I can't send a few two-liter bottles of soda?" Rapaglia said. "I mean, the whole thing is just ridiculous."
After months of debate, the mayor's ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces will become reality. That means no more jumbo sodas at any business that's regulated by a letter grade by the Department of Health, such as the Soup Man.
"We always want to give the customer what they want, so as an owner, I don't think we like being told what we have to do," said Bob Bertrand, owner of Soup Man. "The customer is always right, and it's unfortunate, I think, that they put this rule in. But we have to live by it."
Bertrand said he's already phased out extra large cups to meet the new rules, but at Bario's, Rapaglia said, he's not so sure he will.
"From what I understand, it's a $200 fine that doesn't go towards your letter grade," he said. 'So we're almost tempted just to pay the $200, add it to the cost of doing business and then letting them fine me."
Meanwhile, coffee drinkers who love an extra-large shot of caffeine will be affected as well, though those rules are less clear. Milk-based drinks larger than 16 ounces won't be regulated, but those that are sugar-based will. Customers will have to add their own sugar to many large-sized coffees.
Many say the ban may be overstepping on their right to choose what they want to drink.
"It's kind of ridiculous, though," said resident Eugene Pagani. "You want a large drink? Sorry, we can't sell you a large drink. We can sell you two mediums."
"The fact that they want to control it for us is kind of taking away our own right," said resident Denise Hanrahan. "It's everybody's choice. But for me personally, small one is better.
Not everyone agrees. One man NY1 spoke with about the ban said he is happy he's leaving New York to relocate to Florida, where he won't have to deal with the ban at all.