SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota could soon ban plastic straws.

The city is expected to vote Monday night.

If approved, the ordinance would prevent the distribution and use of such straws at special events, at sidewalk cafes and places operating under city leases. Single-use straws wouldn't be allowed to be distributed on public property unless a customer specifically asks of them.

If green-lighted, the ordinance would take effect on the following dates:

  • On Jan. 1, 2020 for sidewalk cafes
  • In August 2020 for special events
  • Whenever a lease agreement is renewed for those with lease agreements with the city

The reason some restaurants might not support a plastic straw regulation is the higher cost of providing environmentally-friendly paper straws.

The big reason many cities are banning plastic straws is due to the pollution to waterways. Single-use plastics are being found in the digestive systems of fish and marine life. Straws take thousands of years to break down.

In December 2018, the St. Petersburg City Council approved a ban of single-use plastic straws by food service establishments.

St. Petersburg’s ban will take full effect on Jan. 1, 2020. As of 2019, St. Petersburg restaurants will only be able to provide plastic straws to customers upon request.

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