Local business prepares for upcoming statewide plastics ban

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont will soon have one of the strictest plastic restrictions in the country. While it doesn't go into effect until next summer, some businesses are already preparing to comply with the law and educating customers.

Bans on plastic are happening around the country and overseas, but many people, including Church Street diner Joe Spinder, don't know the details.

"I knew it was out there, but I have no idea what the rule is," he said.

The Vermont law bans stores from using plastic bags and restaurants from handing out straws unless requested. Certain foam carryout food containers and cups are also on the banned list.

Spinder says he isn't worried and already has a plan.

"Because I carry around a straw, which I don't really need that often, but if I did need it, I have it-- it's always within striking distance," he said.

Even when he orders coffee at a place like Leunig's Petit Bijou, if he wants to use a straw, he brings his own.

Other customers have the option to use a straw, but according to manager Casey Willard, these straws are compostable.

"We've changed over to a different kind of lid, where you don't need a straw, it's the kind of sippy cup," said Willard.

It's just one step Leunig's has taken to use compostable products over plastic. Willard says customers have been supportive of the idea, but slow to adapt to the change.

"I have noticed that a lot of customers, even with these kinds of lids, will ask for a straw," said Willard.

Once in a while, she will remind customers that straws aren't needed with the new lids, but she knows old habits die hard.

Spinder says it's really easy to bring and use your own straw and for him, it's about the animals.

"It's not hard at all, it's like carrying your keys or carrying a pen," said Spinder.

Many people on Church Street that we spoke with say they support the single-use plastic ban.