Plastic straws were banned last weekend in São Paulo state. The product must no longer be offered at hotels, restaurants, bars, bakeries, night clubs, and musical events of any sort, among other establishments.
The product must be replaced with counterparts made of recyclable paper, or an edible or biodegradable material, and come wrapped in hermetically closed envelopes made of the same material. Establishments that fail to comply may be fined, and repeated cases may be punished with a fine twice as high.
“The plastic straw is among the biggest contemporaneous problems. If every Brazilian uses one plastic straw a day, in one year over 75 billion straws are used. Studies show that over 95 percent of the trash on Brazilian beaches is made of plastic. Just like other types of waste, all this material ends up reaching the sea, harming the natural habitat and the health of animals that all too often die because they eat this material discarded by humans,” said Rogério Nogueira, the state representative behind the law on the topic.
In the state capital, the law has been in effect since June, but regulation is to take place in up to 180 days.