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Brussels region considers plastic straw ban
After banning single-use plastic bags last year, the Brussels government is now considering a ban on plastic straws.
The Belgian catering industry uses 1.6 billion straws per year. Brussels environment minister Céline Fremault has commissioned a study to see how a ban - for non-medical use - could be applied.
The proposed ban is part of a year of discussions throughout 2018 on how to achieve "zero waste".
The Bon juice bar chain in the European district gets through about 2,000 plastic straws a day. Manager Nicolas Thomas told RTBF: "There are not many solutions. Either it's no straw at all, which can be complicated for a takeaway cup, or straws made of steel or aluminimum which are expensive."
The zero-waste Boentje Café in Schaerbeek provides a stainless steel straw with drinks. Co-founder Sandrine Belgrado said: "It was a real challenge - customers were surprised at first. Now some customers even ask to buy the straws to use at home."