Coming…to a city near you… The STRAW BAN!
Not all straws, of course. Just the plastic ones!
As the issue of climate change and pollution become more and more of a conversation, HOPEFULLY we will see a drastic change in how things are manufactured worldwide. Many countries are already miles ahead of the U.S. in their recycling programs and some countries in erasing fossil fuels all together! (We will focus on these amazing places later).
Obviously this is going to be an inching process of getting cities, states, and entire countries on board with a same goal in mind. But as a business owner, you have the ability to at least control what you produce and put out. This is also the integrity of what you stand for. And now people are spending their money to eat out instead of eating at home. In America alone, more than 85 million people eat fast food every day…that’s a lot of single-use plastic! It’s truly inspiring that the companies below are making efforts and setting a great example for the future, even if it may be controversial to some.
FUN FACT: The U.N. reported in July 2018, that 127 countries out of 193 have implemented some sort of policy regulating plastic use… now that’s promising!
But where are plastic straws banned already? If you are an avid straw user and are planning a visit to any of the following places any time soon, you may want to get a reusable option beforehand.
As of 2019, the state of California has banned plastic straws from all restaurants. But don’t freak out, they will still give you one if you specifically request one. Try not to though! Challenge yourself to go without a straw until you pull the trigger and buy a reusable option. Sensitive teeth? Try asking for less ice (you get more bang for your buck that way anyway!)
In July 2019, Seattle deemed itself the first U.S. city to completely ban plastic straws AND utensils at bars and businesses. All 5,000 restaurants will be using reusable or compostable straws, cocktail picks, and utensils. San Francisco and New York City are not too far behind in following suit.
Malibu Beach, CA & Miami Beach, FL
All plastic straws prohibited on the beach, as well as most single-use plastics.
Starbucks plans to eliminate plastic straws by 2020. Even though plastic straws are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to single-use plastic in their stores…it’s a great start. Once you start making a conscious economic change, you automatically become more aware of other aspects- truth!
For those who are not familiar with Aramark- they are a leader in the food service industry and operate in 19 countries within schools, hospitals, businesses and prisons. They have promised to reduce their use of plastic straws by 60% by 2020. They are also prepping to cut back on use of plastic bags, cutlery, and other various packaging materials.
American Airlines has been a pioneer in being environmentally conscious of it’s waste. Dating back to 1989 when flight attendants started the industry’s first on board recycling program. They also transitioned from plastic foam cups to paper cups in 2015, and have since eliminated all plastic ware and are now using fully compostable and bamboo straws, stirrers, and utensils. They recycle hundreds of thousands of aluminum every year and plan to eliminate up to 71,000 pounds of plastic… EVERY YEAR, just from these small changes. Way to go American!!
UK & The rest of Europe
The entire continent of Europe is taking this as a very cut-and-dry situation. “Plastic pollution is overtaking our oceans? Then we must stop manufacturing all of it!”…. But really, proposals are being reviewed currently to stop the manufacturing of every kind of single-use plastic from cotton swabs, to straws, cups, cutlery, Togo containers, etc.
Over in the UK, Queen Elizabeth has banned all plastic straws and bottles from the royal estates.
India is the 7th largest country and 2nd most populated in the WORLD and they vow to ban all single-use plastic by 2022! Challenge accepted!
DON’T FORGET ABOUT PLASTIC BAGS!
Of course plastic straws are only one tiny aspect of the problem. Plastic bags have been a problem for just as long. And with 500 BILLION plastic bags being used every year worldwide, there are many places that have started making bans on bags long before straws.
- Bangladesh was the first country to ever ban plastic bags in 2002 due bags clogging the drains after a natural disaster and flooding had devastated the country.
- Rwanda banned plastic bags in 2008.
- California and Hawaii banned plastic bags in 2008.
- Morocco banned plastic bags in 2016.
- Kenya banned plastic bags in 2017 – and definitely respect the ban there…or you could get fined up to $40,0000 or jail time!!
If you are living in either Idaho, Arizona, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Indiana, it will be completely up to you to make a difference because these states aren’t going to do it for you…since they have placed a ban on BAG BANS after the plastic bag conversation started. (biiig eye roll)
The Team at The-Last-Straw.org thanks you for taking some time out of your day to join our community. We hope that you received some insight that you can take with you. Feel free to spread it around like room temperature butter. Please comment below and let us know how you are helping change the world, and remember that there is no effort too small!