Malibu Hates Straws! SoCal City Bans Straws, Stirrers and Utensils
A local resident of Malibu, California helped to lead a campaign to get rid of plastic straws in the city, which culminated with a City Council ordinance passed in late February that officially bans restaurants and food vendors from offering or selling plastic straws, stirrers, or utensils to customers. The ban goes into effect on June 1, 2018, giving restaurants and food vendors only a few short months to swap out the plastic items for ones made of paper, wood, or bamboo.
City officials pointed to plastic pollution of its beaches as the principal motivator for the ordinance. Malibu was an early adopter of the plastic bag ban by first passing an ordinance in 2008. Los Angeles followed suit five years later, and the ban eventually became state law. In 2017, Malibu amended its plastic bag ban to include paper bags.
Critics say that the new plastic ban will impact business owners that struggle to pay for viable alternatives that are more expensive. Local politicians and advocates, on the contrary, expressed the hope that the plastic ban will propagate to other communities. They urge that the decision is part of a broader goal of removing all single use plastic items in the city. To further this goal, Malibu is actively considering adding plastic lids to the ban.
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