Seattle, overcome with environmental alarmism, has officially become the first city in the nation to ban plastic straws, utensils, and cocktail picks. Any food service business caught breaking the new regulation, as of now, could be hit with a $250 fine.
So much freedom!
Businesses will now be forced to rid themselves of all plastic straws and utensils, including forks, spoons, knifes, and cocktail picks, according to The Seattle Times. There are few exceptions: If a customer makes a special request for something so luxurious as a plastic straw, the business is permitted to provide compostable straws and/or utensils. There is also an exception for plastic straws to be passed out if a customer has a medical issue.
The city sparked the ban with a "Strawless in Seattle" campaign, led by the Lonely Whale Foundation. The foundation's website claims 2.3 million plastic straws were "permanently removed" from the city in September alone.
The draconian measure was introduced due to concerns over the environment, say activists and left-wing politicians. They claim that Americans use some 500 million plastic straws a day, and that many of them end up in waterways. But there is no real evidence to back up such a number. In fact, as noted by Reason, Eco-Cycle, where the 500 million number originated, came from Milo Cress, a now-teenager who's "research" consisted of surveys he conducted in 2011, when he was 9.
But at least Seattle isn't jailing servers for up to six months for offering plastic straws without a request from customers, which is what California is considering with proposed bill AB-1884. Really.