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Plastic straws will soon be banned in Prince George’s County

ban plastic products

This week, the County Council approved a ban on disposable straws and joins a growing number of jurisdictions in the Washington metro region to try to reduce the plastic waste.

The new rules go into effect in July. Restaurants and patrons will need to get used to the idea of no more straw and stirrers. Mailers will be sent to businesses and the information will be posted online before the change.

Each day, 500 million plastic straws are used in the United States, according to the Be Straw Free Campaign. That breaks down to 1.6 per person, per day.

“I don’t have any choice. They are giving me this,” said Kadir Denk as he walked out of a McDonald’s. “But if they give me a paper one, I would use it without any problem.”

The Prince George’s County Council approved the new rules Tuesday and it now goes to the county executive for her signature.

“It’s not biodegradable, so of course that would help if they do ban it,” said Ahmad Wilson, a Lyft driver in the county.

“I think it’s a great idea, I mean, it doesn’t really bother me as long as they make the cups useable without straws,” said Leslie Rivera, an Oxen Hill resident.

Full-service and fast food restaurants, deli’s, coffee shops and even vending trucks could no longer sell or hand out plaster straws and stirrers come July.

“We’ll get used to it like anything else, you get used to it,” said Wilson.

There are exemptions like prepackaged drinks that have a straw attached and when not providing a straw would interfere with someone’s physical or medical needs.

“Really hasn’t been a problem with me in DC, shouldn’t be a problem here in PG County,” said Rivera.

There is a grace period until January 1, 2021. Violators will first get a warning and a second violation can cost $250. A third violation within a 12-month period could mean a $1,000 fine.


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