The latest environmental fad – banning or at least severely restricting the use of plastic (bags, food containers, cups, straws, etc.) – continues to ripple across the country and you may think I’m kidding, but the city of Santa Barbara has taken it to a whole new level. Last week, the Santa Barbara City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance that provides for jail time or a $1000 fine for any restaurant employee who gives a plastic straw to a customer! The council’s tolerant side came through in the ordinance as plastic stirrers were given a reprieve – they may still be given out, but only if requested by a customer! This incredible folly comes on the heels of Seattle adopting a ban on plastic straws and plastic utensils with the much more ‘reasonable’ punishment of $250 per violation, although each straw distributed constitutes a separate ($250) violation! Not to be outdone, the City by the Bay, San Francisco, adopted its own plastic straw and coffee stirrer ban this week with more restrictions to come in the future. Supervisor Katy Tang, the sponsor of the plastic straw, coffee stirrer plus ban, said she wanted “ . . . legislation to change containers like coffee cups which we use every single day, but wanted to then start a bit smaller for now and then move on the other items in the future.” Clearly, we can expect much more fodder for Small Regular No Sugar from Supervisor Tang in the future as the “let’s ban it ripple” continues with the Town of Stonington, Connecticut appointing a committee to review the question of outlawing plastic straws. With elected officials soon falling over each other to ban as many items as they can, those with disabilities are rightly concerned that the bans will severely and negatively impact their lifestyles as many use plastic straws to eat and drink.