Banning plastic straws is more scam than science

Q&A: Seattle's plastic straw ban now in effect; here's what you need to know

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.

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.

Plastic straws and utensils were originally exempt from the ban because of a lack of viable compostable alternatives.

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.

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Seattle food providers are now banned from automatically giving customers single-use straws and utensils.

Restaurants were encouraged to use up existing supplies of plastic straws and utensils before July. If they end up in the ocean, they're just as likely to harm sea creatures as plastic ones.

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.

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. "Then, a customer should be given a compostable option", writes Fox News.

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Seattle has been slowly banning restaurants from giving out disposable food containers and other single-use food service items since 2009.

Every day, people in the US use and discard an estimated 50 million straws.

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

Proposals to ban plastic straws are being considered in other cities, including NY and San Francisco.

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