Seattle's ban on plastic straws and utensil now in effect

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 with the ban can now face a $250 fine.

The Seattle ban actually began with an ordinance prohibiting one-time-use food service items in 2008, but the city has allowed exemptions on certain items every year since.

Seattle just became the first USA city to impose the trendy ban, and NY may soon follow suit, with Mayor Bill de Blasio backing an anti-straw City Council bill.

In Seattle, businesses can still use straws and utensils made out of compostable materials.

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The Washington city's ban - which also extends to the doling out of plastic utensils and cocktail picks - went into effect Sunday.

Advocates say plastic items can't be recycled and many single-use plastics end up in the ocean, polluting the water and harming sea life. The paper straws are preferred to the compostable plastic ones.

California's Legislature is considering statewide restrictions, but not an outright ban, on single-use plastic straws. 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. "Then, a customer should be given a compostable option", writes Fox News. City officials said most customers will say "no" if asked if they want a straw.

The National Park Service estimates 500 million straws are used by Americans each day. But because of the market, plastic utensils and straws have been exempted in Seattle's ban until now, the newspaper reported.

Bon App├ętit Management Company became the first USA food service company earlier this year to ban single-use plastic straws in its eateries, according to Greenpeace.

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