St. Louis Park restaurants won't give you a straw unless you ask for one

An amendment to the city's Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance went into effect Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, customers in St. Louis Park will have to ask for a plastic straw if they want one.

Amendments to the city’s Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance went into effect Wednesday. The ordinance requires licensed food establishments to make all single-use packaging recyclable or compostable, with a few exceptions.

In June, the city made changes to the ordinance that are now in effect. One amendment requires establishments to only provide customers plastic straws upon request.

The other amendment requires establishments to provide compostable utensils if they do not provide a reusable option.

As of Wednesday, food trucks in the city are required to label all compostable cups as such. Compostable cups will need to have a compostable lid, and recyclable cups must have a recyclable lid. These changes will apply to all other establishments on July 1.

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According to a November 2019 report from Environment Minnesota, the state’s recycling and composting rates increased from 43 percent in 2016 to almost 45 percent in 2017. Still, the state is producing an increasing amount of total trash.

In that same time frame, Minnesota households and businesses produced 7.2 percent more trash, or 5.9 million tons, according to the report.

To curb this trend, the report recommends, among other things, limiting unnecessary single-use plastics by only providing them when requested. 

It comes amid the wider movement globally to reduce consumption of single-use plastics. January 1 also saw Minneapolis implement a 5 cent charge on plastic and paper bags given out at stores.

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