Beginning Jan. 1, you’ll need to specifically request plastic straws, utensils and more

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The state is reminding residents that there’s another law coming at the end of this month to limit the use of plastic products.

The Department of Ecology said the new state law will prohibit packaged bundles of single-use plastic items such as straws, utensils, stirrers, condiment packages and sauce cups.

However, restaurant customers can still request such individual items or select them at a self-serve area.

“While lids, forks, ketchup packets and other items will be available upon request, customers are encouraged to bring their own durable, reusable food serviceware items to help reduce single-use waste,” Ecology said in a press release today.

Earlier this year, a single-use plastic bag ban went into effect in Washington.

The new plastics law, Senate Bill 5022, was approved in the House by a 73-24 vote and in the Senate 31-18.

All three 12th District legislators – Sen. Brad Hawkins, Rep. Keith Goehner and Rep. Mike Steele –voted in favor of the bill.

Citing a 2021 report by the environmental group Upstream, Ecology said almost a trillion single-use food service products are disposed of or littered each year in the United States.

Though plastic lids for cold beverages are included in the law, customers will not need to specifically request lids at drive-through windows or at events with more than 2,500 people.

The law says people must specifically request the other plastic items and reaffirm their choice when asked.