Plastic straws under scrutiny in Oak Park

Environment commission gives village recommendations to curb use

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Board of Trustees could soon put limitations on the use of plastic straws in the village, following the release of a report by the village's Environment and Energy Commission.

The citizen commission conducted a five-month review of the issue, providing a list of options for the board to consider aimed at reducing the use of plastic straws at area restaurants.

The recommendations include:

  • Educating restaurant owners and their staff along with residents on the negative effects of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic lids, containers and other items.
  • Making single-use plastic items upon request only
  • Collecting data on plastic inventory use at restaurants in Oak Park, to assess overall consumption of single-use plastic items in the village.

 Andrea Densham, senior director of conservation policy and advocacy at Shedd Aquarium, encouraged the village to implement a zero waste plan for Oak Park to help reduce the amount of plastics that end up in the water supply.

She noted that the city of San Diego approved legislation to reduce single-use plastics and experienced a reduction in the burden the products have in city's waste management system.

The commission is expected to return at a later date with a formal presentation and a proposed ordinance.

Reader Comments

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Dave Slade  

Posted: February 15th, 2019 1:51 PM

Think I'm going to go get a doctor's note saying I need the straws for "medicinal purposes". That way I can enjoy my soft drink anytime I feel pain or anxiety, like the twice a year when I get my tax bill.

Jenna Brown Russell  

Posted: February 14th, 2019 7:56 PM

We will buy our straws in River Forest. They will place them in a free bag in which to smuggle them across Harken. If caught at a checkpoint, attempt a carjacking, that seems to carry a light penalty.

Alan Reed from Oak Park  

Posted: February 14th, 2019 2:47 PM

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 10:30 PM

@ BK: We wont be able to beat our swords into plows, but we will be able to beat the peas into pea soup. But we wont be able to eat the pea soup because we sold our bowls to pay the real estate taxes.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 6:54 PM

Neal and Kine Maureen: Well if you allow dried peas we will then have to also outlaw high capacity bags of peas - no more than 10 peas per bag.

Neal Buer  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 6:19 PM

And, we will have to outlaw dried peas.....

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 3:33 PM

@ Neal Buer: Not only" If you outlaw straws, only outlaws will have straws", but there will also be straw buyers buying straws.

Alex Garcia  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 9:28 AM

At the current rate of business out-migration from Oak Park, the issue of whether or not a restaurant is offering a plastic straw to someone should be pretty much moot in a short while.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 9:21 AM

LOL @ Neal Buer - and if those "outlaws" are carrying a bag of dried peas, they will have weaponized their straws, right?

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 8:11 AM

Here comes a ten cents per straw fee, you know, its an affordability issue.

Neal Buer from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2019 3:45 AM

If you outlaw straws, only outlaws will have straws.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: February 12th, 2019 5:45 PM

I agree Jennifer. What about the wasted newspaper ads that land on my steps 5 days a week? What about the junk mail I get 6 days a week? What about plastic lids? etc.etc. Sorry, but with carjackings occurring once per week, our children of color performing poorly in school, our taxes rising at three times the rate of inflation, more businesses going than coming, can we please stop the madness and look at the big picture. No, the world is NOT going to end in 12 years as Ms. Oscasio-Cortez stated. While we're at it, let's just ban all disposable bic pens, disposable razors, etc. This is literally crazy.

Jennifer Malloy Quinlan  

Posted: February 12th, 2019 4:39 PM

What about styrofoam?

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