Seattle plastic straw ban to take effect next month

Seattle plastic straw ban to take effect next month
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A ban on plastic straws that has been in the works for a decade will take full effect in Seattle beginning next month.

The measure, which bars the use of single-use plastic products like straws and utensils, was originally passed in 2008. But for the past 10 years, exemptions have been made for certain products where there was not yet a viable alternative.

Now that paper straws and decomposable utensils have become more widely available, the exemptions will expire on June 30, according to The Seattle Times.

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More than 200 restaurants and businesses in Seattle voluntarily adopted the full ban last year, the Times reported.

Seattle environmental activists say the ban, which goes into effect July 1, is expected to keep millions of plastic straws out of the city’s waste stream each month.

Seattle’s ban is one of several similar measures being adopted by cities, businesses and even entire countries worldwide. The anti-plastic movement has gained traction over concerns about ocean pollution and harm to marine life.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced earlier this year that the country would institute a nationwide ban on the products, making it the first nation to do so.