Berkeley is seeking to ban plastic drinking straws from its restaurants and coffee shops. Three City Council members have drawn an ordinance proposal banning plastic straws.
East Bay Express reports that Berkeley’s Zero Waste commission and the Community Environmental Advisory commission are also planning to speak to local business about providing alternatives to plastic straws such as compostable or paper versions.
Several groups have been campaigning on getting the single-use plastic out of cities. A number of beaches in Southern California have banned plastics including straws from its beaches. Plastic straws were the fifth most-found trash on beaches, after bottle caps, wrappers and cigarette butts, according to the documentary “Straws.”
The National Parks Service also reported that Americans use about half a billion straws daily. The proposed straw ban is expected to help the city with its goal of reaching Zero Waste Goal by 2020.
Should Berkeley pass the straw ban proposal, it would become one of the first cities to do so. The city of Davis had instituted a related law but with a different approach by requiring restaurants to ask customers whether they would like a straw, rather than automatically serving them with one.