If you grocery shop, you’ve likely noticed big changes at the checkout.
For example, the kinds of bags you can use may have changed dramatically.
Some places in California have gone from paper, to plastic, to “single use” lighter plastic, to reusable and then back to using, but charging for, heavier plastic and paper bags.
The rapid pace of such bans has been confusing for some.
But environmentalists’ demands this time around could be the last straw.
No, really: In the future, you may have to start carrying your own straws.
This environmental activist in San Diego County carries her own bamboo straw with her.
Some restaurants have gone back to using old-fashioned paper straws.
A ban on single-use plastic straws appears to be picking momentum in San Diego, in an effort to help the environment. On @10News at 6 a.m., I look into whether moving to more expensive paper straws like these could push up your bill pic.twitter.com/1rEPA5pRBC
— Jonathan Horn (@10NewsHorn) December 6, 2017
10News in San Diego reported the idea of a “ban on plastic straws” is gaining momentum:
“When you order a glass of wine, you don't need one, so why do you need one in a margarita?” said Mikey Knab, the operations director for Ponce's, a Mexican restaurant in Kensington.
Knab said he decided to get rid of plastic straws after seeing a video of a turtle with a straw stuck in its face, impacting its ability to breathe. Instead, the restaurant offers paper straws when a customer asks. Problem is, they only last for a couple of drinks, and they cost 12 cents apiece. The plastic ones cost about a penny.
The group Surfrider Foundation, an environmentalist lobbying group, is pushing for a ban and is keeping track of restaurants in San Diego County that offer straws upon request. Surfrider says there are about 100 restaurants in San Diego County with the straws-by-request policy.
Spokesman for the Plastic Industry Association, Jacob Barron, told 10News that, as with plastic bags, it’s not the straws, it’s the litterbugs who are the problem:
“We can all agree that straws should not be littered. The vast majority of litter happens as the result of someone purposely littering. Whether the straw is made of paper or plastic, it should be disposed of responsibly. We need to think before we toss and invest in lasting solutions so that no plastic product, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, ends up where it shouldn’t."
Right now, the ban on straws is self-imposed, but activists are tilling the ground to grow the movement into something more permanent.
Plastic straw-shaming has begun:
@nationaltrust. When are you going to stop using single-use plastic cutlery and straws in your cafes?
— Diana Payne (@troglodites) December 6, 2017
— Debbie Ullman (@NYCompostBox) December 4, 2017
Single-use plastic is a particularly nasty form of plastic. Plastic straws are one such… https://t.co/VtRtrLhiFD
— yellow.global (@makeityellow1) December 6, 2017
The two greatest evils in the world are single-use plastic straws and BPAper receipts
— Mega SoCal Val (@YungMax_) December 6, 2017
And the virtue-signaling has begun:
— Greenpeace NZ (@GreenpeaceNZ) December 6, 2017
— peter burton (@peteswildlife) November 25, 2017
Thank you for participating in #NoStrawNovember in #Monterey! Residents & visitors, keep up the momentum by not asking for straws. Businesses, try not to offer straws unless asked. @NoStrawNovember @NoPlasticStraws pic.twitter.com/DDhbOs0hpr
— City of Monterey (@CityofMonterey) December 1, 2017
3 reasons plastic straws suck, and 3 ways to stop sucking plastic! 🌊🐋🐢🐬 #UseLessPlastic@PlasticPollutes @NoPlasticStrawshttps://t.co/u1Qx1a8XwJ#NoPlasticStraws #TheLastPlasticStraw #SkipTheStraw #SaveASeaTurtle #StrawlessOcean #OneLessStraw #PlasticStrawsSuck #StopSucking pic.twitter.com/7IcpwVbFDb
— Less Plastic (@LessPlasticUK) November 20, 2017
And people are hoping to cash in on the potential straw market:
The single-use drinking straws of the future are edible and compostable! Check out @LOLIWARE ‘s just launched world-changing product: LOLISTRAW! The #strawofthefuture! Please consider supporting the LOLISTRAW Kickstarter campaign today: https://t.co/wV8e0EiL2B pic.twitter.com/vCqLJYGucn
— TheLastPlasticStraw (@NoPlasticStraws) December 6, 2017
Environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez told 10News there might be bigger issues to tend to before getting rid of plastic straws.
However, “changing the narrative” about straws has already begun:
“It's about changing the narrative about single-use and disposable plastics and the paradigm shift to reusables” panel discussion post screening of @strawsfilm .@plasticpollutes .@noplasticstraws pic.twitter.com/cMCx4d2uKb
— Dianna Cohen (@implicitweet) December 1, 2017
LA/ Malibu friends join us next week on November 30 for a free screening of STRAWS Film. This event is free, but space is limited. Reserve your tickets at https://t.co/oJyJMbQb05 or call 310-456-2489 ext. 236. pic.twitter.com/UcuwPDSi1e
— TheLastPlasticStraw (@NoPlasticStraws) November 22, 2017
A Santa Cruz, California, based group called the “last plastic straw” has been set up already to begin laying more groundwork for a ban.