MALIBU—Plastic straws are becoming a thing of the past, as some businesses are removing them from their stores, cruise ships, and cities are banning their use.
On June 1, the city of Malibu officially banned the distribution of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, and all plastic cutlery items from restaurants and stores. The city of Malibu will be searching for new alternatives to plastic in hopes of decreasing waste. Other items banned in Malibu include polystyrene foam, plastic bags, and sandbags. The city of Seattle recently passed an ordinance that bans the use of plastic straws and utensils from restaurants, food trucks and bars.
Norwegian Cruise Line has removed plastic straws from their ships in an effort to conserve marine life. Starbucks is another business that is planning to remove straws from all their locations. According to CNN Money, the coffee giant made the announcement that they will discontinue the use of straws by the year 2020. Instead of using straws for their drinks, they will create a lid that is easier for customers to sip out of without the need for a straw.
Plastic Pollution Coalition and the Last Plastic Straw are two companies spreading the word and getting more businesses to enact a “straws available upon request” movement. Single-use straws are trashed after one use and end up in oceans causing pollution and endangering sea life. The straws are neither biodegradable or recyclable.
According to The Last Plastic Straw website, nearly 500 million straws are thrown away each day in the United States. Removing straws in restaurants or serving drinks without straws will decrease those numbers. Some businesses have switched from plastic straws to a more biodegradable alternative ensuring if straws end up in the water they can easily break down without disrupting the ecosystem.