Seattle’s ban on plastic straws and utensil now in effect

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Dimitar Tzankov via

SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle’s ban on plastic straws and utensils to reduce marine plastic pollution is now in effect.

Businesses that sell food or drinks will not be allowed to offer the plastic items under a rule that went into effect Sunday.

The Seattle Times reports that Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service.

Seattle Public Utilities says the ban is part of a 2008 ordinance that phased out various plastics products from the city’s food industry. Businesses can instead use compostable utensils, straws and cocktail picks.

Advocates say such plastic items can’t be recycled and many single-use plastics end up in the ocean, polluting the water and harming sea life.

Businesses that don’t comply may face a fine of up to $250.