An industry-led campaign playing on the famous ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ movie has succeeded in banning plastic straws and utensils being given handed out with food and drink. The ban will come into force in July 2018 with fines for businesses that do not offer these alternative options to customers. However, over 200 businesses are already getting rid of plastics for more environmentally-friendly alternatives before the ban is city-wide.
For those buying from businesses around the city, you would now be given compostable or recyclable options to use instead. This ban, however, does not cover grocery stores/supermarkets who are still able to sell them. Just including businesses that are already making the change to alternatives, it is thought that over one million straws will be stopped from entering circulation.
There are already locations in the city that offer these options. CenturyLink Field and SafeCo Field, that host the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL and Seattle Mariners in MLB respectively, have already made changes to offer the environmentally-friendly alternatives, alongside a number of cafes and restaurants that are also ditching plastics.
There are a number of cities that are looking at doing similar things around the world. Single-use plastics like straws and plastic utensils are littering the land and oceans and having very bad effects on the environment and wildlife. The need to reduce what we use is becoming increasingly urgent and steps like this in Seattle are small but vital in reducing waste.
Plastics have become such an important feature in our lives that we often don’t consider when we use them and what happens to them after. Changing behaviour is difficult; it’s easy to eat with plastic utensils and more often than not we are given straws when ordering drinks in cafés, bars or restaurants. What Seattle is doing, however, is setting an example for cities and businesses all around the world in reducing waste and plastics.