Washington State Legislature Pre-files Bill Banning Single-Use Plastic Straws
Many restaurants have been in the process of phasing out single-use plastic straws. Arguing for a greener tomorrow, the Washington state legislature too has pre-filed a bill for this session to prohibit the sale and distribution of single-use plastic straws. If it passes the legislature and is also implemented, the ban on plastic straws goes into effect July 1, 2020.
If caught flouting the rule, individuals will have to fork out a fine of $25.
Earlier on January 2, 2019, Seattle set an example as becoming one of the first cities to dump plastic straws as well as utensils. Those found violating will have to cough up $250 fine.
The bill is backed by state senator Patty Kuderer (D) from District 48. It states, “Beginning July 1, 2020, the sale and distribution of plastic beverage straws is prohibited. No person may sell or distribute plastic beverage straws within the state of Washington.”
It proposes the use of “petroleum or a biologically based polymer, such as corn or other plant sources, and including compostable and biodegradable petroleum or biologically based polymer straws.”
If enacted into law, it will be compiled in Washington’s list of permanent state laws now in force, i.e. 70 RCW on Public Health and Safety.
For specially-abled who have to use these straws, the document underlines that, “The department of health and the department of social and health services must consult with community, health groups, advocates for persons with disabilities, and other stakeholders to determine how to address health care facilities and individuals with disabilities need for plastic straws.”
The pre-filed bill asks healthcare executives to submit solutions or recommendations by December 31, 2019.
Jurisdictional health departments will be responsible for enforcing the law and also reporting violations of the plastic straw sale and use during the first two times. Failure to adhere to the guidelines the third time would invite “a civil penalty of twenty-five dollars for each day not to exceed three hundred dollars per year.”
Law & behold…
California: Restaurants face a penalty of $25 if found offering plastic straws to customers.
Washington DC: The law has already banned single-use plastic straws and drink stirrers.
New York City: The new law prohibits Styrofoam to-go containers. Single-use plastic straws will be dumped next, says the mayor.