The amount of plastic that makes its way into landfills is staggering. Plastic that is thrown away is also a scourge to the planet’s oceans. More and more marine animals are being found with plastic in their systems.

In order to help reduce landfill waste and protect the environment, the city of San Francisco is contemplating banning plastic straws from being used in dining establishments. If San Francisco is to ultimately adopt this particular measure, it would join several other cities in California that also have this ban in place.

In reality, the plastic straw ban would not be complete. It would prohibit restaurants, bars and dining establishments from putting straws within drinks as a matter of course. A customer would have to ask for a plastic straw specifically in order for the establishment to provide one for the customer. The hope of those seeking the plastic straw measure is that establishments will begin to use straws that are made out of compostable materials such as straws made from paper.

This measure would be just another in a long-line of measures adopted within the city of San Francisco in order to cut down on landfill waste. The city has also banned the use of Styrofoam cups in the city. The use of plastic shopping bags in stores is also not allowed.

Environmental advocates hope that the proposed straw measure will be just the first measure in cutting down on waste from dining establishments. One study has shown that as much as two-thirds of San Francisco’s landfill waste comes from food packaging from restaurants.

San Francisco has the goal of becoming waste free by the end of 2020. Several measures such as the one to ban plastic straws will need to be implemented if the city is going to come close to reaching that goal.

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