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City ordinance seeks to curtail involuntary use of plastic straws

The Madison City Council has adopted an ordinance to prevent the involuntary use of single-use plastic. According to an article in The Capital Times, Madison restaurants will no longer be able to automatically hand out plastic straws with beverages.

There are a couple of caveats, however, as the ordinance does not prohibit a restaurant from providing plastic straws and stir sticks to customers getting their orders “to go” or making them available for dine-in customers to use voluntarily.

The ordinance also does not prohibit a restaurant from providing a plastic straw when a dine-in customer asks for one, nor does it prevent dining establishments from preparing drinks with straws or sticks made from paper or materials other than plastic.

While proponents believe the ordinance is strong enough to change consumption habits, critics say the ordinance will not prevent people from getting plastic straws or seeing them. The latter, they note, could trigger a request for one.

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