Seattle becomes the latest city to ban plastic straws, utensils

09 Julio, 2018, 16:00 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Seattle plastic straw utensil ban takes effect

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

Businesses that violate the ban could have to pay a $250 fine. It's no longer allowed in Seattle bars and restaurants.

As businesses in the Emerald City struggle to comply with the new straw ban, other jurisdictions are passing or seriously considering bans of their own.

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.

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The ordinance, which went into effect Sunday, prohibits restaurants, delis, coffee shops, food trucks, cafeterias and grocery stores from providing the plastic items to customers.

"Plastic pollution is surpassing crisis levels in the world's oceans, and I'm proud Seattle is leading the way and setting an example for the nation by enacting a plastic straw ban", Mami Hara, the general manager of Seattle Public Utilities, told KOMO News.

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. Then, the products were "30 to 40 percent more expensive", he said. But because of the market, plastic utensils and straws have been exempted in Seattle's ban until now, the newspaper reported.

The full ban went into effect on July 1, a decade after the city first introduced a measure requiring restaurants to use only recyclable and compostable materials. However, Seattle Public Utilities spokeswoman Ellen Pepin-Cato said that the focus this upcoming year will be on "continuing outreach and assistance to businesses to help them come into compliance, rather than enforcement". If they end up in the ocean, they're just as likely to harm sea creatures as plastic ones.

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