THE FINAL STRAW: Seattle Bans Plastic Straws, Knives, Forks

09 July, 2018, 15:58 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Q&A: Seattle's plastic straw ban now in effect; here's what you need to know

Screenshot via YouTube/Lonley WhaleSeattle continues to play its role as an incubator of bad policy ideas by imposing the nation's first ban on plastic straws.

Businesses that don't comply may face a fine of up to $250. It's no longer allowed in Seattle bars and restaurants.

The city made an exception for the continued use of plastic utensils and straws until this year, however, because there weren't realistic alternatives for businesses when the 2010 ban was enacted.

"Starting July 1, restaurants in the Emerald City are now barred from providing customers plastic straws, cocktail picks or utensils unless someone specifically requests one".

Seattleites will still probably see plastic straws around town for the next couple months, as plenty of businesses are still scrambling to make the switch to their compostable counterparts.


In addition to restaurants, the plastic straw and utensils ban also applies to delis, coffee shops, food trucks, cafeterias and grocery stores, the Seattle Times reports.

Since 2008, Seattle has been rolling out a citywide ban on single-use plastics and removed exemptions from the list of prohibited items each year.

And making paper straws creates more air pollution - plus you often have to use more than one, after the first gets too soggy.

California's Legislature is considering statewide restrictions, but not an outright ban, on single-use plastic straws. Lee says the new straws are six to seven times more expensive and fall apart from exposure to high heats, requiring special packaging when shipped by sea. "Then, a customer should be given a compostable option", writes Fox News.

Every day, people in the US use and discard an estimated 50 million straws. Seattle Public Utilities exempted plastic utensils and straws due to a lack of compostable alternatives.

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