I recently made a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a little getaway and some relaxation. But something happened that got me a little worked up. We were staying at a nice resort hotel which featured a special at the bar each afternoon. They had some music and drinks were free for a couple of hours.

Since I was staying right upstairs, there was no need to worry about getting a designated driver, I will admit I had a few cocktails.

San Francisco Proposes Ban On Plastic Straws

What Went Wrong at the Bar?

But here's where I had a problem. This particular hotel is one that has embraced some sort of "green" policy. My cocktails came with paper straws. I would try to move my "straw" from one drink to the next, but it would not last beyond one drink. I had to get a new straw every time. It was soft and very annoying to try to drink a big girl drink through a paper straw.

Look, if you want to use paper straws and save the planet, go for it. It's just not what I like. I started looking and I am a little worried that we will soon be saying goodbye to plastic straws.

California has pretty much banned them altogether. I think you can request a plastic straw at some places and still get one. Oregon has joined California with a similar ban. Others are doing the same. New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington are booting them out too. In some of these places, you can request a plastic version.

What Other States Have Bans?

California implemented a ban on January 1, 2019. Oregon followed suit in the same year. Several other states and cities have been moving in that direction. New York, Washington DC, and Colorado are among the states leading the charge against single-use plastics. The New York ban went into place in 2020 for restaurants and other food service businesses.

You will also find that several other states have put partial bans in place for plastic straws. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, and New York, Utah and Virginia have taken steps to phase them out.

We all know Starbucks has completely stopped using plastic straws. McDonald’s is banning plastic straws in international locations such as the U.K. and Ireland and and many other businesses are following suit.


What Is the Big Deal About Plastic Straws?

The Plastic Pollution Coalition says 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the U.S. and many of them wind up in our landfills. Environmentalists say these straws are a huge problem because of the damage they can do to our wildlife if they are not discarded properly. This is not just an issue in our country. Scotland has pulled the plug on the straws. Vancouver has also banned them. Taiwan is banning single-use plastic items, including straws, by 2030.

Europe Struggles To Reduce Plastics Pollution
Getty Images

Will Louisiana Ban Plastic Straws?

It doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon. There was an attempt to ban them in New Orleans. But that effort never got any traction. There's been no serious attempt to tackle this issue statewide. So I will enjoy my cocktails in my favorite Louisiana spots and if I venture out to other states, I might just have to carry my own straws in my purse from now on.

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