City of Madison, Wisconsin | Legislative Information Center
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File #: 56836    Version: 1 Name: Regulate distribution of plastic straws
Type: Ordinance Status: Items Referred
File created: 7/30/2019 In control: SUSTAINABLE MADISON COMMITTEE
On agenda: 8/6/2019 Final action:
Enactment date: Enactment #:
Title: Creating Section 23.61and amending Section 1.08(3)(a) of the Madison General Ordinances to regulate the distribution of plastic straws in the City of Madison and establish a bail deposit for violation thereof.
Sponsors: Syed Abbas, Grant Foster, Lindsay Lemmer, Avra Reddy, Patrick W. Heck
Attachments: 1. Body, 2. Quam Public Comment at EDC 8-21-19, 3. EDC Presentation 8.21.19

Fiscal Note

The monetary penalty for a restaurant violating any provision of this proposed ordinance will be a fine of $200 for a first-time offense.

Title

Creating Section 23.61and amending Section 1.08(3)(a) of the Madison General Ordinances to regulate the distribution of plastic straws in the City of Madison and establish a bail deposit for violation thereof.

Body

DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  This ordinance regulates the distribution of plastic beverage straws in the City of Madison.  Under this ordinance, restaurants shall be prohibited from providing plastic beverage straws to dine-in customers unless the dine-in customer requests a plastic beverage straw.  Under this ordinance, restaurants may still provide plastic beverage straws to take-out customers, including those using a drive-thru window.

 

The City has the authority under Wis. Stat § 62.11(5) to enact an ordinance to prohibit or regulate the use of plastic straws, and that authority is not withdrawn by Wis. Stat § 66.0419, which prohibits municipalities from regulating the use of containers, specifically plastic grocery bags, not plastic straws. The two operative phrases of Wis. Stat. § 66.0419 are: “a bag, cup, bottle, can, or other packaging that is designed to be reusable or single-use” and “that is designed for transporting or protecting merchandise, food, or beverages from a food service or retail facility.” The Wisconsin Supreme Court defines terms not statutorily defined by referring to dictionary definitions, and dictionary definitions for these terms do not include straws. Accordingly, a straw is not packaging and a straw is not designed for transporting or protecting liquids from a food service or retail facility, and thus may be regulated by local units of government.

 

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The Common Council of the City of Madison do hereby ordain as follows:

                     Please see "Body" in Attachments.