Berkeley Is Considering Banning Plastic Straws

ashley.rae | May 31, 2017
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Not content with the state of California banning plastic bags, the city of Berkeley is now reportedly considering banning plastic straws.

KPIX 5 reports three councilmembers, Susan Wengraf, Sophie Hahn, and Ben Bartlett, co-sponsored a proposal to ban “all plastic straws” in restaurants and coffee shops. Instead, patrons will be required to use compostable straws made out of paper or bamboo, or bring their own reusable straws.

Hahn told KPIX 5, “We do need to change our habits. The habits we have are destroying our planet.”

Bartlett said, “It’s good for the fish in which we eat and it’s good for the children who are exposed to BPEs in the plastic.”

According to KPIX 5, business owners oppose the measure because compostable straws are more expensive than plastic straws. A KPIX 5 analysis claims a plastic straw costs just a penny, but a compostable straw costs $.08 per straw.

Hahn defended the proposal despite the extra costs to business, claiming the costs for the straws should be passed onto consumers and reflected in the prices of drinks.

“There are alternatives. The cost should be passed on to consumers. It’s the actual cost of your drink,” she said.

The proposal is expected to pass in early 2018 and will make Berkeley the first city to ban plastic straws.

For consumers who want to drink soda in California, they also face a soda tax.

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