Rhode Island’s Plastic Straw Law Was News to Me
A typical Saturday for your humble correspondent involves a solitary ride through the countryside of the SouthCoast region, including Rhode Island, searching for used books to stack on top of the other used books in my collection that I plan to read someday.
I'll let you in on one of the best-kept secrets for area book lovers: IO Books, buried deep in the recesses of the Route 177 Flea Market in Tiverton. There are a lot of great books at great prices, but sometimes you've got to be willing to dig around to find them.
Anyway, just west of the Route 177 Flea Market is a gas station at the intersection with Route 81. While filling the tank, I noticed a Dunkin' just across the street on the northwest corner.
It was a hot day, and I was preparing for a nice cruise through Tiverton, Little Compton, Adamsville, and Westport before navigating the backroads down to Padanaram Village. A Dunkin' Cold Brew would complete the journey.
After passing through the Dunkin' drive-thru before hitting Route 81 South to continue with my adventure, I realized that the Dunkin' clerk had neglected to give me a straw for my drink.
I flipped around and passed through the drive-thru again to notify the errant clerk of his misdeed, only to be informed of a relatively new law in Rhode Island that requires patrons to ask for a straw if they want one. No longer are they automatically distributed.
According to local Rhode Island media, the law took effect on January 1st, 2022. Who knew? I sure didn't. The idea is to introduce fewer plastic straws into the waste stream that often involves our shorelines, parks, and other environmentally sensitive areas.
The law makes sense. It doesn't ban the issuance of straws but limits their distribution to those who request them. I guess I can live with that.
My in-laws live in Rhode Island, so I spend a fair amount of time there. This is the first time I have heard of this law and the first time I've seen it enforced.
Kudos to the kid in Tiverton.