Article from Reason by Christian Britschgi.

Seattle continues to play its role as an incubator of bad policy ideas by imposing the nation’s first ban on plastic straws. First articulated in September of last year, the new ban officially went into effect on Sunday.

The law prohibits all food-service businesses, including restaurants, coffee shops, delis, and pubs, from offering any disposable straw or utensil to patrons unless they specifically request one. Should a customer ask for one, said straw will have to be not just biodegradable but compostable under Seattle’s exacting city-level standards. Violators will be hit with $250 fines.

Seattleites will still probably see plastic straws around town for the next couple months, as plenty of businesses are still scrambling to make the switch to their compostable counterparts.

Caroline Lee of Young Tea, a boba tea shop in downtown Seattle, told Reason last week that she was still in the process of working with her supplier in Taiwan to make a straw that meets the new regulation. Lee says the new straws are six to seven times more expensive and fall apart from exposure to high heats, requiring special packaging when shipped by sea. She is considering having a test batch flown in by air, which will raise costs further.

Read the entire article at Reason.

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