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D.C. Could Become the Next U.S. City to Ban Plastic Straws

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., took the first step toward banning plastic straws in the nation's capital on Tuesday.

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans introduced a bill encouraging retailers to restrict their use in favor of paper straws, local TV station WJLA reports.

The bill comes amid a wave of efforts by local governments and corporations to eliminate plastic straws, and just one day after Starbucks announced its plan to eliminate them from its stores by 2020.

Environmental groups have praised the straw-less movement as a way to cut down on waste that flows into oceans and harms marine life. However, some opponents argue that these bans overlook disabled customers who rely on plastic straws.

If the plan goes forward, D.C. could become the second major United States city to ban plastic straws. Seattle made the switch in early July. "Once we start observing our daily life, it’s really easy to see how quick" the plastic adds up, Dune Ives, executive director of the Lonely Whale Foundation, which led Seattle's straw-less campaign, told the Seattle Times last week.