Seattle taking steps to ban plastic straws at restaurants

by: KIRO 7 News Staff Updated:

Seattle is going beyond banning just plastic bags.

The city is taking steps to ban plastic silverware and straws, and that ban could go into effect next year.

For KIRO 7’s special newscast at 4 p.m., Rob Munoz found out the ordinance was actually written nearly a decade ago. Watch on-air or online here. Then watch pre-game coverage at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Seattle Seahawks vs. Kansas City Chiefs game on KIRO 7.

The City of Seattle confirmed with KIRO 7 News that they are planning on enacting a ban on plastic utensils and straws and instead making a push to allow only compostable or paper utensils and straws.

According to the Office of the City Clerk, the ordinance passed the full city council in 2008, but an exception has been in place since 2010. If the exception is not renewed, then restaurants will have to follow the ordinance or eventually face a fine.

>> RELATED: First plastic bags, now it's straws. ‘Stop sucking' campaign to hit in Seattle

Seattle Public Utilities could start enforcing the ban July next year.

The ordinance argues that disposable food service ware in Seattle creates burdens on the city’s solid waste disposal system.

One ocean-advocacy group estimates the country goes through 500 million disposable straws each day. Lonely Whale Foundation plans to run a “stop sucking” campaign in Seattle in September. See their video below, scroll down to keep reading. 

Lonely Whale — co-founded by the actor Adrian Grenier, of “Entourage” — will be doing its awareness bit across the Emerald City for the month at various taverns, restaurants and other places where drinks are consumed. Safeco Field is in per a Fast Company story, so buying a Coke at any of the month’s Mariners home games will get youinvolved.

KIRO 7 News talked to various restaurants in Seattle, and many were already starting to phase out plastics.


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