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Ben & Jerry's eliminating single-use plastic

Businesses ramp up plastic straw bans

Ben & Jerry's is joining a growing list of companies phasing out single-use plastic. The ice cream vendor said this week that by April it plans to phase out plastic straws and spoons in 600 stores worldwide. It is shifting to wooden spoons and will provide customers with paper straws on request. 

Ben & Jerry's goes through 2.5 million plastic straws and 30 million plastic spoons per year. By 2020, the company also wants to find alternatives to plastic cups and lids.

The last straw: Seattle's drinking straw ban

Last year, companies including Hyatt Hotels, Ikea, Royal Caribbean, SeaWorld and Starbucks also said they planned to eliminate plastic straws in a growing push against single-use plastic.

City governments, too, are taking action. Last summer, Seattle became the first U.S. city to ban plastic straws and utensils. It was soon followed by San Francisco and Malibu in California, and Miami Beach in Florida.

Plastic straws are the seventh-most common trash item found on beaches, though they make up less than 4 percent of the plastic waste in landfills, according to the National Park Service. 

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