Looking for a straw to sip your soda?
Restaurants will be tasked with finding alternatives, such as compostable paper or plastic utensils, and could face fines up to $250 for noncompliance. It's no longer allowed in Seattle bars and restaurants.
San Francisco and Berkeley are among the Bay Area cities that have considered a ban on plastic straws.
Other cities, such as Miami Beach, Florida; Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, and several municipalities in California including Oakland and Berkeley, have all banned the use of disposable plastic straws, but not utensils.
So, as of Sunday, businesses were expected to have used up their inventories of plastic utensils and straws, although establishments that needed more time to comply are able to work with the city's Public Utilities department. In 2010, it became a requirement that "food service items" - with the exception of straws and utensils - be either recyclable or compostable.
"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.
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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.
Every day, people in the US use and discard an estimated 50 million straws.
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. "And really taking a stand on what needs to happen, a ban on all single-use plastic products".
Flexible plastic straws for customers who require them for medical reasons are exempt from the ban.
Proposals to ban plastic straws are being considered in other cities, including NY and San Francisco.
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