By Fredrica Syren:
The paradise of Hawaii is working on saying “Aloha!” to single-use plastic straws, as Bill 2285 is making its way to approval. This bill will ban use of these straws for any reason in the entire state of Hawaii. Offenders will be fined as well as sentenced to community service, which involves trash pick-up in public spaces.
When we were in Maui last week, we discovered that many businesses — restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream places, bars and hotels — have jumped ahead of the ban and have transitioned from plastic straws to compostable paper straws despite the expense.
I spoke to one manager of a major restaurant chain who told me that, sure, it’s a little more costly and that paper straws are not as durable as plastic ones, but it’s the right thing to do.
Considering that plastic straws are among the top 10 items collecting along the world’s shorelines and that Americans use about 500 million straws each day (enough to circle the earth two and a half times), I’m glad to see businesses are taking this seriously.
Too many disposable plastic straws are ending up in the ocean. As with anything made of plastic, they don’t degrade naturally; they will stay in a landfill or, worse, in the ocean. Here, these straws eitherwillbe consumed by aquatic organisms or will float as makeshift islands … forever. Furthermore, when plastics such as straws do begin to degrade, they release harmful toxins like polypropylene, thus harming marine life and plants.
To learn more about plastic straws and bans check out their links: