Seattle prohibits plastic straws, utensils at restaurants, bars

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Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times/ AP In this June 19, 2018, picture, paper straws sit at Duke Moscrip, owner of Duke’s Dining establishments, bar at his dining establishment in Seattle. Services that offer food or beverages will not be enabled to offer the plastic items under a guideline that went into effect Sunday, July 1.

Monday, July 2, 2018|3:25 p.m.

SEATTLE– Trying to find a plastic straw to sip your soda? It’s no longer allowed in Seattle bars and dining establishments.

Neither are plastic utensils in the latest push to lower waste and prevent marine plastic contamination. Businesses that sell food or drinks won’t be permitted to offer the plastic products under a guideline that entered into impact Sunday.

Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, inning accordance with Seattle Public Utilities. The eco-conscious city has been an ecological leader in the U.S., working to aggressively curb the amount of garbage that goes into garbage dumps by requiring more choices that can be recycled or composted.

Seattle’s 5,000 restaurants will now have to use reusable or compostable utensils, straws and mixed drink chooses, though the city is encouraging businesses to consider not offering straws altogether or change to paper instead of compostable plastic straws.

” Plastic contamination is exceeding crisis levels on the planet’s oceans, and I’m proud Seattle is blazing a trail and setting an example for the country by enacting a plastic straw ban,” Seattle Public Utilities General Supervisor Mami Hara stated in a statement last month.

Proposals to ban plastic straws are being thought about in other cities, consisting of New York and San Francisco.

California’s Legislature is thinking about statewide constraints, however not a straight-out restriction, on single-use plastic straws. It would block dining establishments from supplying straws as a default however would still enable a consumer to request one. It’s passed the state Assembly and now waits for action in the Senate.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa Might revealed in April a plan to ban the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. She called plastic waste “one of the best ecological obstacles facing the world.”

Smaller cities in California, including Malibu and San Luis Obispo, have actually restricted making use of plastic straws. San Luis Obispo needs single-use straws just be supplied in dining establishments, bars and cafes when consumers ask for them. City officials stated the majority of clients will state “no” if asked if they want a straw.

Company groups have actually opposed the idea in Hawaii, where legislation to ban plastic straws died this year, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday, with the Hawaii Dining Establishment Association and Hawaii Food Industry Association testifying against the step.

Seattle’s ban is part of a 2008 ordinance that needs restaurants and other food-service businesses to find recyclable or compostable alternatives to disposable containers, cups, straws, utensils and other products.

Organisations had time to pursue abiding by the ban, stated Jillian Henze, a spokesperson for the Seattle Restaurant Alliance, an industry trade group.

” We have actually nearly had a year to look for items to safeguard the environment and provide consumers a great experience (with alternatives),” she said.

The city had actually permitted exemptions for some items until options might be discovered. With multiple manufacturers offering alternatives, the city let the exemption for plastic utensils and straws run out over the weekend.

Environmental advocates have been promoting restaurants and other services to ditch single-use straws, stating they cannot be recycled and wind up in the ocean, contaminating the water and hurting sea life.

A “Strawless in Seattle” campaign last fall by the Lonely Whale including more than 100 organisations voluntarily helped eliminate 2.3 million single-use plastic straws.

Fans say it will take more than banning plastic straws to curb ocean pollution but that dumping them is an excellent first step and a method to begin a discussion about waste and ocean conservation.

Seattle prompted services to use up their existing stock of plastic utensils and straws prior to Sunday. Those who weren’t able to consume their supply have actually been told to deal with the city on a compliance schedule.

Businesses that don’t comply may deal with a fine of approximately $250, however city authorities say they will work with services to make the changes.

Associated Press author Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento contributed to this report.

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