California has a reputation as a green state on the cutting-edge of environmental laws. State Bill 270 banned the use of disposable plastic bags, changing the way Californians shop, and disposable straws could be next on the chopping block.
The Berkeley City Council has launched an initiative to ban the use of plastic straws in commercial establishments in their city. The ban was proposed by council members Ben Bartlett, Susan Wengraf and Sophie Hahn.
According to a news release, the primary goal of the initiative is to cut down on waste. American consumers go through about 500 million plastic straws every year, but those straws don’t disappear. They end up in landfills and oceans. Plastic straws also leak chemicals back into the ground and the water system.
Bartlett said banning plastic straws would benefit future generations.
“We should be thinking of any increased costs as investments in our futures and our children’s futures. In order to preserve the health of our planet, we have no choice but to change our policies and habits,” said Bartlett.