There is a growing awareness among the people about the evils of plastic and Seattle has taken a timely decision to ban products like plastic straws from its restaurants. It is the first major city in America to say ‘no’ to plastic which is a non-biodegradable substance and continues to remain as litter around us for decades. The city has set a trend that could be replicated by other US cities, to protect the environment.

Fox News reports that the ban comes into effect from July 1. The city has 5,000 food outlets and the restriction is expected to reduce the menace of plastic pollution.

Seattle sets an example by banning plastic straw handouts

The amount of plastic straws used by Americans every day is mind-boggling. According to estimates of The National Park, the figure could be in millions and restricting their use is bound to have a positive effect on the environment by reducing plastic pollution.

Seattle had issued an ordinance in 2008 prohibiting single-use plastic in food service items. However, it kept allowing exemptions on certain items from time to time. In view of the requirements of the market, plastic utensils and straws were in the category of exemption until now. That has been set right and restaurants have been told to clear their inventory at the earliest possible time.

In case of non-compliance, the restaurants may face action.

Fox noted that "according to the Seattle Times, flexible plastic straws will be available for customers who need to use them for a medical reason."

Eliminate plastic as Seattle plans to do

The action on plastic straws that Seattle proposes to take will open a new chapter because the impact of millions of straws on the environment is huge.

Washington Post has highlighted the issue because the environment will benefit and leaders should put a strong message across. They hope to impress upon the people the need to ban plastic and protect the planet. Customers and shop owners will have to discard plastic and embrace alternatives like paper straws. In time, the day will come when people across the US will use cloth bags to carry home groceries and vegetables.

Strawless Ocean carried out a campaign to create awareness about the plastic straws. These are not heavy and are often overlooked for recycling. Many of them get blown out of trash cans and car windows, ending up in the oceans to pose a danger to marine wildlife like sea birds and turtles. In September, a number of businesses in the city made an effort to reduce the use of plastic straws and nearly 2.3 million of them were removed from the city.