There is widespread perception that single-use products are more hygienic than reusable, refillable products. As a precautionary measure, many US coffee chains, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, have temporarily stopped refilling reusable containers and are instead passing out disposables to all customers.
FTC Green Guides state that “[i]f any component significantly limits the ability to recycle the item, any recyclable claim would be deceptive. An item that is made from recyclable material, but, because of its shape, size, or some other attribute, is not accepted in recycling programs, should not be marketed as recyclable.” These guidelines should apply to a product such as plastic straws.
There have been several bills passed and introduced in California and New Jersey governments this month that are focused on waste reduction, especially concerning plastics.
Three bills in California were signed by the governor on September 20, 2018. Three concurrent resolutions in New Jersey were introduced in the State Senate on September 17.