The Paw Print

Straw Ban in San Francisco

San Francisco Will Ban All Single-Use Plastic Goods

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San Francisco aims to ban plastic straws

San Francisco aims to ban plastic straws

Montri Maiman

Montri Maiman

San Francisco aims to ban plastic straws

Leila Taherian, Local News Editor, Outreach Manager

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San Francisco is joining other cities across the country in banning the use and sale of plastic straws beginning in 2019.

In recent months, environmentalists have urged the danger straws pose to our environment and how necessary it is for them to no longer be sold and distributed. Single-use straws are frowned upon for their inability to be composted, which leads them to end up in landfills and in the ocean. Part of the argument regards how easy it would be for society to eradicate them. In most cases, even with compostable straws, the single-use plastic falls through the cracks when being sorted, ending up in local landfills.

“The production and management associated with single-use food and beverage 25 service ware, typically used for only a few minutes before being discarded, has significant environmental impacts, including environmental contamination; consumption of energy, water, and non-renewable polluting fossil fuels; emissions of greenhouse gases; air and water pollutants; depletion of natural resources; litter on streets and in waterways; plastic pollution; and increased litter clean-up and discard management costs,” The Board of Supervisors at the San Francisco Mayor’s office wrote.

The number one provision of the ordinance declares that all single use products such as straws, stirrers, lids, and many more must be plastic free and compostable plastic free. San Francisco County suggests that retailers should switch to bamboo, paper, metal, or fiber products. Starbucks, among many other companies, has joined in the initiative and is slowly trying to get rid of plastic straws in their stores worldwide.

“For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways,” Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks, said.

The production and management associated with single-use food and beverage 25 service ware, typically used for only a few minutes before being discarded, has significant environmental impacts, including environmental contamination.”

— The Board of Supervisors at the San Francisco Mayor's Office

Starbucks plans on using plastic lids for all of their iced drinks that would replace straws altogether, but they still require the use of straws for their frappuccinos. Starbucks notes that for frappuccinos they will need to use compostable plastic straws. What will San Francisco stores do next year when even compostable plastic is banned?

Critics argue that the ban does not comply with disabled individuals who require access to these accessories. However, San Francisco has created accomodations for these people.

The current legislation that was approved by the Board of Supervisors has an exemption for people with disabilities or those that have a medical condition who require access to the accessories mentioned above,” the San Francisco Department of the Environment declared.

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Straw Ban in San Francisco