Malibu bans restaurants from giving out plastic straws, stirrers and utensils

During every visit to the beach, Sheila Morovati, her husband and their two kids each pick up at least 10 pieces of trash. Almost always, every item is made of plastic: straws, bottle caps, lids, forks.

So last year, Morovati helped lead a campaign to get rid of plastic straws in the city of Malibu. The effort culminated Monday night with the City Council banning the seaside town's roughly 65 restaurants and food vendors from offering or selling plastic straws, stirrers and utensils to customers.

"This is a community based on its ocean and beaches and we want to protect those," said Craig George, the city's environmental sustainability director.

"Individual cities have to decide how they're going to protect the earth," he said. "We've got to start somewhere. If we can start locally, that's the best place to start."

Businesses have until June 1, when the ban takes effect, to make the change, swapping out the plastic items for ones made of paper, wood or bamboo. Diners are also encouraged to use reusable straws and cutlery made of metal or glass.

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