Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Seattle plastic straw, utensil ban takes effect

Seattle plastic straw, utensil ban takes effect

San Francisco & Berkeley are among the Bay Area cities considering a ban on plastic straws.

Restaurants that do not comply with Seattle's regulations could face a $250 fine.

Seattle has been slowly banning restaurants from giving out disposable food containers and other single-use food service items since 2009. These small pieces of plastic are among the most frequently littered items, advocates for such bans say.

Duke Moscrip, founder and CEO of Duke's Seafood and Chowder, told KIRO that his restaurant switched to compostable straws and utensils about three years ago.

The Seattle Times reports that it's believed to be the first major USA city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service.

According to the Strawless Ocean campaign, straws can ruin loads of recycling because majority aren't heavy enough to make it through industrial recycling sorters.

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. "And really taking a stand on what needs to happen, a ban on all single-use plastic products". The success of that effort, the campaign said, coincided with the city's announcement that a plastic straw and utensil ban would go into effect in July.

Americans are said to use 500 million straws per day, according to National Park Service estimates. Then, a customer should be given a compostable option, according to Seattle Public Utilities. But because of the market, plastic utensils and straws have been exempted in Seattle's ban until now, the newspaper reported. Businesses can use compostable utensils, straws and cocktail picks. Food service businesses can make flexible plastic straws available to people who need them for medical reasons.

Like this: