If you want a straw with your drink in New Jersey, be sure to ask for one.
A restriction on single-use plastic straws went into effect Thursday as part of an overall law that aims to reduce plastic pollution in the state.
Food service businesses, including restaurants and convenience stores, can now only provide single-use plastic straws with drinks when customers request one. Straws can still be purchased in packages and with pre-packaged drinks like juice boxes.
The law enabling the restriction, enacted in 2020, will ultimately ban single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers in the Garden State beginning in May 2022.
“When we move beyond single-use plastics, we can reduce our reliance on the fossil fuels that create plastic, remove a source of litter from our communities, and protect wild and marine life from the harm of ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic products,” Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said in a news release.
Two in three New Jersey residents supported a plastic bag ban in a Monmouth University Poll in 2019, but many backed away from that zeal when presented with how a ban would impact their shopping habits.
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