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Posted on: October 4, 2019

Straw Ordinance Will Go to City Council for Vote

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On Wednesday, September 18th, the Sustainability and Transportation Committee approved the proposed Straw Ordinance 3-0 and the vote will now go before the full Council. The proposed ordinance utilizes a phased approach to discourage, and then ban the use of plastic straws in Portland. Effective dates would be as follows if the ordinance passes as written:

  • As of April 1, 2020, food providers may only supply a plastic beverage straw, stirrer, or splash stick on request. 
  • As of January 1, 2021, distribution of plastic beverage straws, stirrers and splash sticks would be prohibited.

Non-plastic straw alternatives may still be provided on request - these include those made of paper, sugar cane, bamboo, pasta, or metal. Restaurants and stores would be able to provide plastic straws to people with disabilities who may need them.

An estimated 100,000 straws are used in Portland daily. This ordinance aims to cut down on the pollution caused by plastic straws, which are not recyclable, and encourage new habits such as residents bringing their own reusable straws to restaurants and coffee shops.

The proposed straw ordinance will receive a first reading at the Council’s October 7 meeting, and then be voted on at the October 21, 2019 meeting. 

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