Seattle leads the way in reducing plastic waste from fast food by banning single use plastic straws and utensils. The replacements will require to be biodegradable from alternate sources.
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 ordinance, which went into effect Sunday, prohibits restaurants, delis, coffee shops, food trucks, cafeterias and grocery stores from providing the plastic items to customers. Upon request only, those vendors may provide people with a compostable straw or utensil. 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. Since there are now “multiple manufacturers of approved compostable utensils and straws,” those items’ plastic counterparts will no longer get a pass, the city said in its notice . Though the ban carries a $250 fine for any businesses who violate it, city officials told The Seattle Times that the focus for the next year will be more on educating and assisting businesses with compliance than on enforcement. Plastic straws like these are too small and flimsy to be processed by recycling centers and often end up in oceans. As the threats posed by plastic straws, utensils and other small plastic items have become clearer, environmental groups have made a broad push […]