Starbucks & Other Shops Delay Preparing For Sugary Drinks Ban In Hopes Court Challenge Will Stop Regulations

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with Linda I. Gibbs, deputy mayor for health, discussing his ban large sugary beverages. (Chang W. Lee/The New York Times.)

Although New York City’s sugary drinks ban is set to take effect Tuesday, some vendors are holding off on complying with the new law until a ruling is made on a lawsuit challenging the regulations.

“The lawsuit was filed by the American Beverage Association and a local Korean-American grocers’ group. It wants to stop the ban from taking effect until a judge decides on their bid to block it altogether,” CBS New York reports.

Businesses including Starbucks are hoping that the court challenge will ban or at least delay the new law.

“Starbucks announced it plans to continue offering 20 ounce venti-sized drinks because of the milk content. Like Dunkin’ Donuts, customers will also be able to add their own sugar to their coffee,” the report adds.

The ban applies to sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces (both bottled and fountain) and will affect theaters, restaurants, and most sports venues.

The new regulations will not, however, affect grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food. It also won’t apply to non-sugary drinks, diet soda, “or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute,” CBS New York reports.

“I definitely believe it’s going to hurt my business,” Mary Cira of Pronto Pizza, who claims she had to throw out nearly $1,000 worth of 20 ounce and two-liter bottles of soda, told CBS New York. She says she will also have to reprint her menus, explaining that she has a “combo special with a two-liter soda.”

“Personally, I think it’s ridiculous,” Peter, a coffee cart operator, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck “It’s going to slow things down because I’m going to have to put the sugar on the side.”

The court hasn’t made a ruling yet.

For his part, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the purpose of the ban is to remind New Yorkers “that it’s not in [their] interest to have too many empty calories.”

“If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups. Take them back to your seat. If you want 64 ounces, take four cups back,” Bloomberg said Sunday on CBS  News’ “Face The Nation.”

“But what’s likely to happen here is you’ll take one and probably not come back for the second,” he said. “But it’s totally your choice. We’re not banning anything. It’s called portion control,’ he added.

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Featured Image the Associated Press. This post has been updated.