New ordinance alters straw accessibility

City tries to limit waste through new policy


Ayelet Prottas

A Starbucks barista prepares a drink by grabbing a straw to hand to a customer Dec. 19. Starbucks and other gourmet drink establishments are implementing new environmentally friendly straw-free lids.

Sam Swisher

After the city’s new straw ordinance went into effect Jan. 1, the city’s solid waste manager Kala Fisher said the ordinance was put in place to reduce the number of straws used in St. Louis Park.

“(The ordinance) would both reduce the amount of straws that people have to throw away and it would reduce the number of straws that end up in the wrong bin when people are sorting their garbage,” Fisher said.

The new rule regarding straws is an amendment to the Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance. The amendment regarding straws was passed in June of 2019 and went into effect Jan. 1.

St. Louis Park has always been innovative when it comes to environmental policy

— Zoe Frank

The Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance is a goal of the city to reduce the amount of trash created by food and beverage packaging.

According to junior and Wok in the Park employee Miles Massie, the ordinance is not effective because it will only prevent a couple of people from getting straws in St. Louis Park.

“St. Louis Park having a few people who don’t get a straw won’t change anything because it’s such a small drop in the bucket,” Massie said.

Junior Zoe Frank said the city has been good at creating environmental policies.

“St. Louis Park has always been innovative when it comes to environmental policy, a lot of which is due to the Climate Action Plan,” Frank said. “Hopefully this legislation allows for the city’s sustainability goals to happen sooner, and reduces waste output in the city.”

According to Frank, she hasn’t noticed much change yet, but she has high hopes the ordinance will make the city more environmentally friendly.

“My family and I have been keeping an eye out for changes when we eat at restaurants, but so far haven’t noticed much. I’m hoping to see this change go through because it would allow for (St. Louis Park) to become more sustainable and put out less waste,” Frank said.

According to Massie, the ordinance is making his job harder because he has to get people straws after he delivers their drinks.

“It’s already affected me at work where now we aren’t allowed to give people straws with their drinks. It’s another inconvenience where most people will end up asking for a straw and we have to go back and get them one,” Massie said.

The ordinance affects all food establishments in St. Louis Park.