Economy

Seattle Bans Plastic Straws, Utensils At All Food Service Businesses

Seattle Bans Plastic Straws, Utensils At All Food Service Businesses

In a first-of-its-kind law for any major American city, Seattle has instituted a ban on plastic straws and utensils at all food service businesses.

The use of Styrofoam packaging in food service was banned in 2009.

The ban, which had been in the works for more than 10 years, aims to reduce the negative environmental impact of the millions of plastic straws used every month in the city.

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Seattle has officially become the first major USA city to ban restaurants from giving plastic straws and utensils to customers in an effort to help the environment.

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. These small pieces of plastic are among the most frequently littered items, advocates for such bans say. And, in 2015, a video of a sea turtle found with a plastic straw embedded in its nose went viral. "And really taking a stand on what needs to happen, a ban on all single-use plastic products".

Business groups have opposed the idea in Hawaii, where legislation to ban plastic straws died this year, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday, with the Hawaii Restaurant Association and Hawaii Food Industry Association testifying against the measure. The ban is part of a 2008 ordinance that banned any one-time-use food-service items that aren't recyclable or compostable. Then, the products were "30 to 40 percent more expensive", he said. 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. Under the new rules, establishments will need to offer their customers "compliant options"-for example, straws made of paper or compostable plastics or risk a fine".