Seattle’s plastic straw ban

Photo courtesy Celeste Barnes-Crouse
Photo Credit: Allie Brown.

Second year graduate student Celeste Barnes-Crouse was recently interviewed by the UW Graduate School about Seattle’s ban on single-use plastic take-out containers, straws and utensils that took effect in July. In the article, Celeste discusses Seattle’s plastic straw ban and states “I think 2018 will be remembered as the year hating plastics became cool.” In 2017, Seattle hosted the first city-wide campaign, called Strawless in Seattle, to help remove single-use plastic straws from the U.S. waste stream. The movement has been aided by large organizations, such as Starbucks, that announced the company would ban plastic straws from its stores worldwide, and campaigns such as Plastic Free July that encourage dramatically reducing plastic use and improving recycling. Last November, Currents, SMEA’s student run blog, ran a series of posts focused on the themes of single-use plastic straws and plastic pollution titled Strawless SMEA. Celeste thinks as individuals “the best we can do is change our habits and refuse (plastics) when we can.” However, businesses should also do more when it comes to reducing plastic use. “It isn’t fair that this responsibility falls on the individual while businesses continue to consume so much plastic.”