Do you want a plastic straw? In New Jersey, you must inquire starting November 4th
New Jersey customers who hang on to disposable plastic straws – amid a growing flurry of paper and vegetable alternatives – will have to explicitly ask about the utensil when they drink from next week.
The state’s Department of Environment and the NJ Business Action Center announced Wednesday that starting Nov. 4, food companies will only be allowed to provide single-use plastic straws to a customer upon request.
The change applies to restaurants, convenience stores and fast food companies, which must also inform their employees and customers about the restriction.
Consumers will still be able to purchase packaging with straws and beverages prepackaged with a plastic straw, such as juice boxes, under the environmentally conscious restriction.
Efforts to reduce single-use plastic straws are part of a broader state law banning the sale or provision of single-use plastic tote bags starting next year.
“By moving beyond single-use plastics, we can reduce our reliance on the fossil fuels that produce plastic, remove a source of litter from our communities, and protect wildlife and marine life from the damage caused by ingestion or entanglement in plastic products. “Said DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette in a written statement.
Disposable plastic straws and drink stirrers are some of the most common items found along the Jersey Shore during biannual beach sweeps organized by Clean Ocean Action.
As of October 2020, more than 10,000 such straws and stirrers were among the garbage collected after it was washed up along the state’s coastline.
Straws were the fifth most common item found on state beaches in 2017, with more than 30,000 of them being collected by volunteers, according to the nonprofit.
Globally, around 437 million plastic straws are found along the world’s collective coastline, Acumen Research and Consulting reported in July.
Aside from single-use options, the market for reusable straws has grown, with options made from food-grade silicone or stainless steel, among others, for sale.
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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began in the US on December 14, 2020. The rapid roll-out came just over a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines have been developed also has an end to many People with a lot of questions. Questions range from practical – how do I get vaccinated? – up to scientific – how do these vaccines even work?
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