Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect title=
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect
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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Plastic Free July, a worldwide campaign to reduce single-use plastics, is upon us and with that the City of Santa Barbara’s Plastic Straw, Stirrer, and Cutlery Ordinance goes into effect. These types of single-use materials are commonly found littered throughout our local environment, polluting our storm drains, creeks, and beaches.

Who does the ordinance affect?

·         The ordinance affects providers of prepared food or beverage for public consumption. Types of affected businesses might include but are not limited to: restaurants, cafes, bars, convenient stores, caterers, and hotels.

What does the ordinance do?

·         The ordinance prohibits any food or beverage vendor from distributing plastic and compostable plant-based plastic straws and stirrers. Exemptions apply.

  • The ordinance also requires that all plastic cutlery, compostable plastic cutlery, and alternative single-use straws (paper, straw, candy, pasta, etc.) are required to be "On Demand". For these "on demand" items customers will have to verbally ask for them or the employee will have to ask the customer if they would like them before distribution.

Are there exemptions?

·         Yes! Food or beverage providers are exempt from this ordinance in the instance that they provide a plastic beverage straw to a person in order to assure full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We recommend that businesses have some plastic straws in stock, as for some individuals with disabilities, plastic straws are necessary to eat/drink. Creating/maintaining an inclusive environment means providing the accommodation needed for all to participate.

·         Financial Hardship or Practical Difficulty Exemption – See ordinance info page for application details. 

·         Public Health and Safety Exemption - See ordinance info page for application details. 

 

For ordinance explanations, business resources, and a link to the full ordinance text, visit: www.SBRecycles.org.

If you have questions regarding this ordinance or if you’re a business that needs assistance finding alternative products, please call the Environmental Services Division main line at (805) 564-5631. Our staff is here to help!


Other Common Questions

Are compostable plastic straws made from corn or sugarcane included in the ban?

Yes, compostable straws that look and feel like plastic are also banned. These straws are made of a plastic polymer derived from plants (instead of petroleum) called polylactic acid (PLA) and only compostable in some commercial composting facilities. They are not compostable in our yellow business foodscraps bins and they are not certified to biodegrade in the natural environment.

Can businesses place paper straws or plastic cutlery in a freely available container for customers to grab "on demand"?

·         No, paper straws and plastic cutlery cannot be placed on the counter for customers to grab. There must be a verbal interaction whenany single-use straws or plastic cutlery are given out. "On demand" is defined as (1) the beverage provider or food provider first asks that person whether they want to receive the item and the person responds that he or she does; or (2) the customer affirmatively requests the item from the beverage provider or food provider.

·         Businesses can, however, freely distribute reusable straws and cutlery to customers and then collect them for washing. Businesses can also sell reusable straws and to-go cutlery sets made of alternative materials like metal or bamboo.

Can I still go to the store to buy plastic straws in bulk or other products that include a prepacked plastic straw?

Yes you can. This ordinance does not affect plastic beverage straws, stirrers or cutlery when they are provided as a part of product that was packaged outside the City and sold within the City.

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58 Comments

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Shasta Guy Jul 02, 2019 07:18 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

The newest fashion accessory will be the stainless steel straw case, much like a cigarette case from the 1930s. Dashing young men will be able to say to a helpless beautiful lady: “Pardon me, but you look like you could use astainless steel straw for your Chunky Matcha smoothie? I have one here for you in my monogrammed straw case”. What a day that will be.

ParvoPup Jul 02, 2019 07:10 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

I propose that at birth, everyone is issued their permanent cup. This cup will be 16 ounces in volume, lidded with a built in suction tube, sourced from recycled metals, hand spun on solar powered lathes and embossed with your individual Apple ID. This cup will accompany you throughout your life before being used as your urn upon your demise. You will use your permanent cup to drink your reprocessed fluids, to eat your cultured food swills and to hold your valuables as a show of societal solidarity and caring for the future of this singular universe.. Upon which time you will die, be shocked to discover that you were in but one of a multitude of alternate existences, but fear not, for when the Great Greeter asks if you have your cup - you can stand tall and say "Yes! I have my cup and is is not made of plastic!". Also, take a towel with you - always.

a-1571051390 Jul 02, 2019 05:47 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

There also was a time when you could have an opinion, personal belief, political stance, religious afilliation, and so on without being castigated and damned to the basket of deplorables just because someone does not agree with you. So let people be.

a-1571051390 Jul 02, 2019 06:08 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

JUL 02, 2019 05:47 PM------When was this "time" exactly? For their opinions, personal beliefs, political stances, religious affiliations (two 'f's there) people used to be burned at the stake, tortured ("Spanish Inquisition" ring a bell?), shunned, thrown into dungeons and so on. "Damned to the basket of deplorables" actually sounds quite innocuous, comparatively speaking.

Flicka Jul 02, 2019 02:25 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

There was a time, not too distant, when there were no plastic straws or, for that matter, not tons of plastic anywhere. Somehow we all managed to survive and lead uncomplicated, decent lives. Plastic anything is totally unnecessary.

a-1571051390 Jul 02, 2019 11:23 AM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

This ordinance is insane putting SB restaurants and food shops at a competitive disadvantage. I still get a straw at Costco for my $1.50 hot dog and beverage, but not when I buy on Milpas.

PitMix Jul 02, 2019 02:23 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

So are you spending $3 in gas and a few pounds of greenhouse gas CO2 to drive out to Costco for your dogs or are you suffering with your paper straws at the Milpas eatery? It's a sacrifice either way I guess.....

a-1571051390 Jul 02, 2019 06:13 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

To those who refuse to step into the 21st Century: We are at a time in our history where we have begun to recognize and understand that we humans need to take responsibility and deal with our negative affect on our planet. Get with the program, anti-enviros.

PitMix Jul 02, 2019 02:26 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

Time will tell. I don't see what people get out of opposing the overwhelming majority of scientists who believe in climate change caused by humans and all the evidence of extreme weather occurring around us. The consequences of being wrong are just too severe for your kids and grandkids. If you really can't trust the experts, why not act in the most conservative way possible, in the best sense of that word?

ZeroHawk Jul 02, 2019 09:50 AM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

ever get a smoothie and try to suck it through that flimsy paper straw that breaks down half way through the drink? i have. kinda lame. i'm on the beach A LOT and in the ocean as much....never seen a plastic straw there...or on my hikes. just another, 'look how good we are in santa barbara' thing...

ZeroHawk Jul 02, 2019 11:53 AM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

lol 1 downvote? you must really like that worthless paper straw. let's actually think about this....paper straw. paper meets water/liquid. paper does what it normally does....it disintegrates and turns into mush. soon we'll have paper machet on state street instead of confetti to gripe about... :D hey...the fountains work again. anyone notice this while using your paper straws downtown? I saw one dog in the fountain and it's owner laughing about it....not the homeless people.

PitMix Jul 02, 2019 08:49 AM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

All the whining about one small change in our lives makes me think we have no shot at addressing the really big issues affecting us like climate change. Hope you are all ready for some extreme weather in the future, or do you think that SB is some how not affected by that?

420722 Jul 01, 2019 09:42 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

For all of those that can’t survive without a plastic straw here’s your loop hole: Just ask your server for a plastic straw and say it’s for your disability, by law, they are not allowed to question your disability. Problem solved, you’ve got your favorite straw. Or bring your own.

Shasta Guy Jul 01, 2019 08:46 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

What a convoluted law. I envision massive straw smuggling from Goleta through some quirky loophole. Figuring out the proper straw request etiquette will be really confusing for visitors. We need the creators of the show “Portlandia” to start making episodes about the crazy stuff that goes on in this town.

ParvoPup Jul 01, 2019 07:58 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

You just wait. Ten years from now we will all be on EdHat complaining about the hundreds of Sea Turtles crawling all over our beaches. You'll be seeing people selling their hoarded plastic straws on Craigslist for hundreds of dollars apiece as "Turtle Repellent".

a-1571051390 Jul 01, 2019 02:23 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

Whataboutism: What about plastic drink lids, which are far more common? What about the free plastic vegetable/fruit bags, of which I may use ten or twenty of in a given visit, and available at all our grocery stores? Why on earth are we not banning those items too? Why have pissy half measures?

PitMix Jul 02, 2019 02:31 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

Whataboutism is the weakest form of argument. To argue that if a solution doesn't address the most serious problem, it is useless, is unreasonable. Especially when you and I would clearly never agree on which is the most serious problem. Unless you are trying to create a Catch-22? Maybe that is your aim.

Luvaduck Jul 02, 2019 01:31 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

By that reasoning, ban car airbags because there have been instances of them causing injury or death. Escalating things beyond all proportion and reason makes such a statement meaningless.

Luvaduck Jul 02, 2019 01:31 PM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

By that reasoning, ban car airbags because there have been instances of them causing injury or death. Escalating things beyond all proportion and reason makes such a statement meaningless.

a-1571051390 Jul 02, 2019 11:32 AM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

Ban all plastic and boxed plastic wrapped goods. Let’s go back to a meat and dairy shops, bakery, produce store like in Russia. Waiting in multiple lines is a good way to kill a day; unless Amazon delivers.

Eggs Ackley Jul 02, 2019 06:49 AM
Plastic and Compostable Plastic Straw Ban Now in Effect

@9:23 If indeed you use ten or twenty produce bags each time you visit the grocery store, you have a problem that requires intervention and professional help. Here's a start: REDUCE->REUSE->RECYCLE in that order

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