This year, Seattle is going plastic-free for the month of September, but now the city is making a bigger and permanent change by setting to ban all plastic straws and utensils. The single-use items will be forgone and substituted by businesses with eco-friendly options by July 2018 as another phase in the fight against plastic pollution.
Strawless in Seattle, a campaign by the Lonely Whale Foundation, was joined more than 200 local businesses, all of which decided to get rid of plastic straws from their locales for the month of September 2017. The campaign was launched on September 7th and among the businesses taking part in the project are the Seahawks, Mariners, Space Needle, and Port of Seattle.
Dune Ives, the foundation’s executive director, stated that this month-long ban alone would reduce the plastic straw consumption by one million, Seattle Met Magazine reports. It is no small news then that the businesses participating in the project are now committed to making the ban permanent!
“We’re a coastal city. Protecting marine environment has been a priority for Seattle for years,” said Mayor Ed Murray during a press conference. “Being here right now, where we are on the waterfront in Puget Sound, is a strong reminder of our marine environment and the impact that we can have on it.”
Once Seattle’s ban on plastic straws and utensils is enacted, all businesses that sell food or drinks in the city will have to offer their clients recyclable or compostable options – or give the items up altogether. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is now reaching to businesses to help them prepare for the new ban and the switch from the single-use plastics to the environmentally friendly materials.
Currently, Americans use over 500 million plastic straws every day. It is expected that, if the trend continues, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. The fact that plastic straws are one of the smallest single-use items we throw away does not help the case at all, considering how many of these tiny items accumulate in the trash daily. By limiting the number of single-use plastics produced, distributed, and used, we can significantly reduce plastic pollution and help the environment, wildlife, and people.
To find out how to use less plastic in your every-day life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Image source: Hans/Pixabay