By Joanna Prisco
Grunge City is cleaning up its act.
Plastic straws, utensils, and cocktail picks will be verboten at all Seattle businesses selling food or drinks as of July 1, making them the first major US metropolis to do so, according to Komo News.
“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,” said Mami Hara, general manager of Seattle Public Utilities, in the Komo News report.
“Our goal for the next year is to help all restaurants, food trucks, and food service operations shift away from plastic to compostable food serviceware,” Hara said.
Eight million metric tons of plastic pollute the world’s oceans each year, or what amounts to “one garbage truck into the ocean every minute,” according to a 2016 report released by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
In response to the crisis, many businesses in the hospitality industry have voluntarily committed to banning or phasing out the use of plastic straws and other instruments from their locations. Last week, fast food chain McDonald’s announced that it will be removing plastic straws from all of 1,361 outlets in UK and Ireland.
But to encourage outliers to join the mission, local governments are now getting involved.
In May, New York City council member Rafael Espinal announced his plan to ban plastic straws from the Big Apple, which if passed would force 8.5 million people to use an alternative, reported the Guardian. Hawaii and California also have pending plastic straw bans, according to Fast Company.
Global Citizen campaigns to protect the environment and halt climate change. You can take action here to help preserve our planet by encouraging companies and people to find alternatives to plastic.