Since then, Starbucks and Marriot announced plastic straws and stirrers would be removed from their businesses. When Rowse suggested letting people respond to the alleged environmental threat of plastic straws as they see fit, Councilman Jason Dominguez unfurled his totalitarian colors, declaring that "we can't always count on common sense", and therefore, "we have to regulate every aspect of people's lives". Providers can use non-plastic alternatives, including paper, sugar cane, or bamboo; however, they can only offer them to customers if the customer requests a straw.
Other cities, including Seattle, Malibu and Santa Monica, have passed straw bans in the past month, and San Francisco is set to become the latest city to join the list after a unanimous supervisors vote on Tuesday. The problem? Most of these single-use straws are too lightweight to be recognized by a mechanical recycling sorter causing them to be disposed as garbage, which makes it more likely for them to end up in the ocean.
Those who violate the plastic straw ban in Santa Barbara, Calif., could reportedly face jail time. The second violation, however, is punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail term not exceeding six months. In the first place, most of the plastic in the oceans comes from Asian countries with inadequate waste-disposal systems; the United States only accounts for about one percent of it, and plastic straws make up about 0.02 percent of that tiny amount. The same goes for all the juices, soft drinks and other beverages contained in plastic that they continue to consume - not to mention scores of other plastic products they purchase across industries.
According to ABC, the company will also be making significant environmentally friendly changes to its cruises and hotels.