Madison limits plastic straw handouts at restaurants – WKOW

MADISON (WKOW) — This week, the Madison Common Council approved an ordinance that would limit a restaurant staff’s ability to automatically provide plastic straws or stir sticks to dine-in customers.

Unless the customer asks for a plastic straw or stir stick, staff would be prohibited from preparing the drink with one in it.

The ordinance language states that “often, dine-in customers do not actually use the straw or stir stick, which, having already been placed in the drink, then must go to waste.”

Alder Syed Abbas introduced the ordinance change in early August and told WKOW 27 News that it is meant to be a way to get people in Madison to start thinking about how their choices affect the environment.

“It’s more like making people conscious about their daily lifestyle and how much their lifestyle can have a positive impact through this ordinance by removing this plastic straw from the market,” he said in a previous interview.

After input from several stakeholders over the past several months, the Madison Common Council voted 17 to 1 to pass the change Tuesday night. One alder abstained.

Restaurants are not discouraged from having straws on-site for customers who would like to use them, specifically those with disabilities that depend on straws to drink a beverage.

Staff is not forbidden from asking dine-in customers if they’d like one, and they can still leave them out for customers to take voluntarily.

The fine for violating the ordinance is $25 on the first offense. It increases to $50 on the second and then it is $100 on the third.

This change goes into effect in three months.

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