Plastic straw ban proposed in DC

WASHINGTON — Several U.S. cities have banned plastic straws, the largest being Seattle, where a ban took effect July 1. And, if one local lawmaker gets his wish, the nation’s capital could follow as soon as next year.

D.C. Council member Jack Evans has introduced a bill that would outlaw plastic straws and plastic stirrers in the city. He made his proposal on Tuesday, the last day before council begins its summer recess.

“I remember when I was growing up, I used to have these paper straws that are much better for the environment, and probably will make a big comeback now,” Evans said.

People who rely on plastic straws to drink independently find it difficult to wash reusable ones and avoid paper straws because they tend to disintegrate in hot liquids. But, Evans said exceptions to the ban could be made for people with disabilities.

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He is concerned about the exploding use of plastic items such as straws, bags and bottles over the last 30 years or so.

“It has created an environmental mess. So I think we’re, at some point as a society, going to have to come to terms with, ‘What are we doing here?'”

The bill will get a public hearing this fall.

“If there’s enough support for it, which I hope there will be, the bill will pass and become law here sometime next year,” Evans said.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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