A legal expert explains how a global treaty could build on these efforts. Cities and even entire countries started implementing policies and laws to either severely limit or outright ban plastic straws. Seattle, Washington, is one of them. Despite calls for a broader adoption of these plastic straw bans, there is also strong resistance to this movement. The change will cut down 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually. Americans discard 12 million pounds of plastic straws annually. Despite this, Seattle banned plastic straws in July 2018, as have many corporate greens. "This isn’t about straws, it’s about whether Americans are willing to evolve into better stewards of the natural world — or instead treat that very idea with contempt." Opponents of such bans, however, say they would do little to solve the much bigger problem of plastic waste that’s improperly disposed of. Banning plastic straws would be a symbolic gesture toward a greener future. Banning plastic straws is meant to be a proactive step in easing the burden that plastic waste has on our environment. But a single straw weighs very little. MacDonald’s is moving to ban them in the U.K. and Ireland. Plastic straws make up a tiny percentage of the waste in the ocean. Some critiques point to the fact that plastic straws, if measured per item, make up only four percent of ocean debris. The world is heating up dangerously and the oceans may be dying. That’s why many people want to ban plastic straws. In this context, the UK's proposed plan to ban plastic straws feels a little like spitting in the wind. Dozens of cities, states and nations are enacting bans and restrictions on single-use plastic bags and other items. Some cities have done this. Starbucks is phasing out plastic straws by 2020. Twitter user @sarahbreannep even designed a handy chart that explains why plastic straw ... are against the move to ban plastic straws — and what can be done instead. — Miyoko Sakashita, The Hill. Instead of banning plastic straws altogether, they say, people should be encouraged to properly recycle them. Seattle became the first US city to completely ban them in July 2018, and Vancouver was the 1st major Canadian city to do so. Soon restaurants there will have to stop handing out plastic straws. On January 1, 2019, a ban on plastic straws in restaurants and other service businesses began in Washington, D.C. Read on for the reasons behind such bans, and how we got here. Banning plastic straws, they say, would help reduce the amount of plastic threatening marine life. Mickey and Minnie are joining the straw ban with a plan to" eliminate single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all owned and operated locations across the globe by mid-2019."
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