Plastic straws are everywhere, and people probably use them and never think about the consequences.
Some environmentalists want them gone.
"We depend on plastic, and that's a trend we have to reverse immediately," Brooklyn City Councilman Rafael Espinal said.
Espinal introduced a bill Wednesday to ban restaurants, food carts, and other establishments from providing straws made of non-biodegradable material. There would be an exception for people who need a straw due to a disability.
"It's an easy issue New Yorkers can get behind," the councilman said. "Again: Straws are a luxury, we do not need straws to have our drinks, and I think it's an easy step forward where we can have a great impact for our environment."
Environmentalists estimate that half a billion plastic straws are used in the U.S. every day — one reason why there are at least eight million metric tons of plastic in the oceans.
"Over 70 percent of animals — of birds actually have been found with plastic in their stomachs," said John Calvelli of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "It's a horrific situation and it's something we can do something about."
Even though millions and millions of tons of plastic sit in our oceans, studies have shown that less than five percent of that consists of plastic straws.
Some New Yorkers said they weren't convinced this proposed ban should happen.
"It's going to be very hard to do because everybody likes their straws, you know, especially with the shake because it's not getting wet, it's holding it up firm and everything," one man said. "So I don't think it's a good idea."
"I think it'll be really hard to implement," one woman said. ""So many places use plastic straws, and the non-plastic ones are much more expensive."
Paper straws typically cost more and are less durable. Still, some businesses have voluntarily eliminated plastic straws, including most recently Alaska Airlines. Other cities, like Seattle and Vancouver, have issued bans.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's a supporter. "Their time has come and gone," the mayor said. "We don't need them."
With the mayor on board, it could soon be the last straw on plastic straws in New York City.