All restaurants in Washington, D.C., now face anywhere between a $100 to $800 fine for providing plastic straws to customers.
Businesses have been warned since the ban was technically enforced on Jan. 1, 2019, but no real punishments were put in place.
Now, D.C.’s Department of Energy and Environment will fine offenders as part of their effort to divert 80% of its waste from landfills by 2032. Earlier in January, they sent out an employee, Zach Rybarczyk, to patrol Union Station and check straw inventory.
He said he got many blank stares from cashiers who weren’t even aware of the ban, hence the new fines.
Rybarczyk himself keeps a metal straw in his backpack for personal use.
The straw ban has faced opposition from those struggling with disabilities, arguing that paper straws aren’t an adequate replacement.
Therefore, a small stock of plastic straws are allowed to provide to disabled customers.
“Washington, D.C. is proud to be leading the way on reducing plastic waste,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “I encourage everyone to take the pledge to say no to plastic straws, and to help keep our neighborhoods, our waterways, and our city trash free.”
“Single-use plastics are taking the same cultural place as tobacco where it’s socially unacceptable,” said Julie Lawson, director of the mayor’s Office of the Clean City. “It’s pretty absurd the amount of resources we put into creating plastic materials that we are using for five minutes to an hour, and then never again.”
The above is the latest paper straws information compiled by Spuntree for you.