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Rantz: Washington’s straw ban actually mandates straws

Starbucks is using compostable straws at its stores. (MyNorthwest)

Washington Democrats set out on a mission to ban single-use, plastic straws from establishments, but they ended up mandating they be stocked. It’s a neutered version of a straw ban bill.

The bill, as it stands, doesn’t actually ban the use of straws at all. Assuming this goes into law, starting next year, restaurants cannot proactively provide customers with straws. They can only provide one if they’re asked for one.

Now, perhaps some business owners buy into the dubious notion that we have a plastic straw problem in our environment. Unfortunately for them, the plastic straw ban now requires that they stock up on straws for some customers, despite their position.

Per section 2-2: “In recognition that a straw is an adaptive utensil that may provide basic accommodation for persons with disabilities to eat and drink, a food service establishment must provide a single-use plastic straw upon request to persons with disabilities.”

Love straws? Even more good news. The straw ban  (that mandates straws) won’t even serve a punishment steep enough to deter restaurants from proactively serving straws to customers. A restaurant can force straws upon fringe environmentalists and can only be hit with a $300 annual penalty, per Section 3-1B.

It’s important to note that there’s no documented plastic straw crisis plaguing our environment here in Washington or across the country. A 9-year-old boy, Milo Cress, came up with the often quoted, dubious statistic (Americans use 500 million straws a day) back in 2011 and media outlets and virtue-signaling adults ran with it.

Democratic activists want to ban straws — even when they don’t actually ban them — because it’s an easy symbol of their commitment to environmentalism. It’s the appearance of actually doing something.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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