1 Year In, Most DC Business Complying With Plastic Straw Ban

Businesses and organizations that sell or serve food or drinks in DC are prohibited from giving out single-use plastic straws or stirrers


It's been one year since the District implemented a ban on plastic straws, and it seems most businesses in the city are complying with the ban.

According to data provided by D.C.'s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), compliance has increased dramatically since the ban took effect.

The ban, which began Jan. 1, 2019, prohibits businesses and organizations selling or serving food or drinks in D.C. from giving out single-use plastic straws or stirrers.

In the first six months that plastic straws were outlawed, only about 59% of the businesses that were inspected were in compliance. That was during a phase when officials were inspecting businesses and giving unofficial warnings. On July 1, inspectors began issuing official warnings and fines. The compliance rate shot up to 83% in the second half of the year.

No businesses have been fined and no businesses have been cited as repeat offenders.

While plastic straws are now a no-go, the DOEE says straws made from materials on the Mayor's List of Compostables are fine to be given out. Paper straws, hay straws and PLA straws that are BPI-certified as compostable are all acceptable. Wooden stirrers are also permissible.

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