GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Some Colorado lawmakers want to ban restaurants from handing out straws. Seattle and parts of California have similar bans already.
The goal is to cut down on our plastic waste. According to ‘The Last Plastic Straw,’ a project to eliminate single-use plastic straws, 500 million straws are used every day in the U.S. alone. That's 175 billion heading to landfills each year.
"I try not to use plastic straws ever,” said Clarissa Tolfel, GJ resident who says she doesn’t use straws.
Rep. Susan Lontine (D-House District 1) introduced HB19-1145 to the House on January 29.
"Well, they are bad for the environment and they are completely unnecessary,” said Tolfel.
Colorado lawmakers are considering banning restaurants from automatically handing out plastic straws to customers.
"It will make this so much easier,” said Keyes Mueller, General Manager at Kannah Creek.
Some restaurants are already reducing their carbon footprint, following the ‘by request’ method. Kannah Creek has been doing it for more than a year.
"Anyway we can help out the environment is a good thing…we've been slowly trying to weed out the straws that we have on hand and we are almost done and eventually, we will be moving onto straws that are biodegradable,” said Mueller.
If you still want a straw, you can get one, you will just have to ask. In fact, some people really need a straw. Those with disabilities and poor hand dexterity rely on them. Others say it's handy while traveling and easier for children to avoid spills.
"Some people get a little bit upset about it some people are very understanding and a lot of the time we don't even have people ask for them,” said Mueller.
Colorado’s new bill would not include self-serve straw dispensers, prepacked food, drive-thrus, and third-party delivery systems.