PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Starting Tuesday, Portland businesses won't offer plastic utensils, straws, stirring items, and individually packaged condiments, unless you ask for them.
If businesses do offer these types of plastic items upfront, they could be fined up to $500.
It's all part of the Single-Use Plastics Reduction Policy by the City of Portland.
FOX 12 spoke with Nicole Tignor, the co-owner of Floyd's Oldtown Coffee about the new policy. Tignor says they've been preparing for it for months.
"Single-time use plastics is just, it's an immense cost, it's an immense amount of waste and it's just not good for the environment or the people," Tignor said.
Tignor is on board with the new policy. She says about a month ago, she started using different lids instead of ones that require a straw.
It's one step she says to help the environment.
"Eco-awareness is something that's very important, I mean it's 2019," Tignor said. "It's Portland and we really try to care about the waste that we're producing."
The straws the shop uses are compostable, which Tignor says they started using them about a year ago. She says it's not only helping the environment but it's saving them money, roughly $60 a month.
While this new policy is not new to business owners, she says some customers are still adjusting to having to ask for items they've been accustomed to always having at restaurants and beverage establishments.
"It's something that we have that's habitual for us when one is told that they can't use something that's a habit for them it can be pretty frustrating," Tignor said.
But she says all it takes is a simple request to still use those items. She says many customers are also using their own reusable straws and utensils to adapt to this new policy.
There are some exemptions to this new policy.
Cafeterias and retail food and beverage establishments can provide access to a self-service station for plastic utensils. If plastic serviceware is already attached to packaged with plastic utensils, that's another exemption. If free or reduced meals are provided as a social service to vulnerable populations, that's exempt as well.
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