Lawmakers Hear Bill That Aims To Keep Plastic Straws Out Of Ocean – CBS Denver

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – A proposed bill could change the way Coloradans experience their dining-out experience when it comes to drinking with straws. House Bill 1143 would leave it to customers to request a straw. Before, a business gave them one.

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It is just one of many pushes across the nation to slowly phase out the use of plastic straws, which are commonly associated with harmful waste in the ocean. While the bill would not ban plastic straws, it would likely decrease the number used.

By asking restaurant owners to only give out straws upon request, Colorado could start its part in slowing down the production of plastic straws, which take years to decompose.

Steve Ballas (credit: CBS)

Steve Ballas, owner of two “Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs” locations in Denver, endorses the bill. He, alongside the Colorado Restaurant Association, believes the change would be good for the environment.

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Ballas chose to switch away from plastic straws at his business, and now only uses paper-based straws. Buying from a company in Boulder, Ballas said he only spends a penny more per straw for the biodegradable option.

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“I found this straw that is made from a plant. It is biodegradable, 100 percent compostable,” Ballas said.

He said he hoped, over time, other business owners would realize the switch was financially feasible.

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“Let’s just go with a straw that is made from plants, that is biodegradable, and in some aspects is less expensive,” Ballas said. “It feels like a plastic straw. It works well for my shakes and malts, but it does break down. It is good for the environment. It is even cheaper, let’s do that. Hopefully more restaurateurs will do that.”

House Bill 1143 is set for public hearing on Feb. 23 at the State Capitol.