DC plastic straw ban targets churches, daycare centers

Washington, D.C., officials have unveiled a ban on plastic straws and stirrers set to go into effect Jan. 1, and it is raising eyebrows because it targets churches and daycare centers, not just restaurants.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is recommending replacements made from hay, bamboo, glass, paper, and metal.

The city department of energy and environment tweeted, “@MayorBowser’s list of recyclables and compostables now requires the use of compostable and/or reusable straws and stirrers when selling food or beverages in the District. Enforcement begins January 1, 2019!”

Several cities are eyeing bans on plastic straws, claiming they wash into the oceans and injure and kill fish and mammals. The Washington Examiner ’s Becket Adams has written about the lack of evidence that straws are choking the oceans.

One observer told us that the Washington’s ban is “crazy” because it extends to churches, daycares, even corporate offices that provide coffee. Below is the city’s list of banned users on the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment website:

Who is regulated?

Business or organizations that sell or provide food or beverages are subject to the requirements of the law. These regulations apply to all food service ware products used to serve consumers. Examples of regulated entities include, but are not limited to:






Food trucks


Grocery stores

Daycare providers

Companies that provide free coffee to clients

Churches that offer coffee or food to parishioners after a service

Nonprofit organizations that host events and provide food for attendees”.

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