FOX NEWS - Seattle has officially become the first major U.S. city to ban restaurants from giving plastic straws and utensils to customers in an effort to help the environment.
Starting July 1, restaurants in the Emerald City are now barred from providing customers plastic straws, cocktail picks or utensils unless someone specifically requests one. Then, a customer should be given a compostable option, according to Seattle Public Utilities.
With 5,000 food service providers in the area, Seattle is the first major city in the U.S. to enact such a ban, KIRO-TV reported.
"Plastic pollution is surpassing crisis levels in the world's oceans, and I'm proud Seattle is leading the way and setting an example for the nation by enacting a plastic straw ban," Mami Hara, the general manager of Seattle Public Utilities, told KOMO News.
The National Park Service estimates 500 million straws are used by Americans each day.