Plastic straw bans are gaining traction in the fight against pollution and San Francisco is taking up the cause. The Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a proposal outlawing plastic straws on Tuesday, the AP reports. Seattle enacted a similar ban earlier this month.
Along with straws, starting July 2019 eateries also wouldn’t be able to use plastic stirrers and anti-splashers. Disposable cutlery, lids, napkins, and condiments would only be given out via self-serve stations or by specific request, not automatically with every order like is often the case now.
Takeout containers made with fluorinated chemicals are also on the table: If that piece goes through, the deadline for food and drink vendors to stop using them in San Francisco would be January 2020. If Washington State follows through on the same thing, the ban there starts in 2022.
Just a few weeks ago, Starbucks, which has more than 28,000 locations, announced plans to get rid of straws at all of its stores by 2020, and major hotel chain Marriott made a similar declaration.
Those are two of the most visible proponents of plastic straw bans, but far from the only companies — or governments — on board. Ikea, Alaska Airlines, Royal Caribbean Cruses, SeaWorld, and A&W Canada, among others, have made moves to eliminate single-use plastics like plastic straws. UK Prime Minister Theresa May proposed banning plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds by the end of this year.
People with disabilities have expressed concern over the elimination of plastic straws, since the bendable tubes can be a necessity.