Zach Rybarczyk is a young inspector for the Washington D.C. Department of Energy and Environment whose latest assignment has got a lot of people very worked up.
As of January 1, 2019, the use of plastic straws by bars and restaurants is banned in the nation's capital. The law follows a larger trend of communities banning the use of the straws that have been seen as a reaction to a video that went viral showing a straw being removed from a sea turtle's nose.
Rybarczyk is the man charged with enforcing the new law in DC and as such, he checks in on eating establishments, including food courts at local malls and, for now, issues warnings about the use of plastic straws. Come July, he won't be writing warnings, he'll be writing fines. Fines that could be as much as $800 for restaurants not in compliance with the turtle-friendly law.
With the proliferation of anti-straw laws nationwide, it's safe to say that Rybarczyk won't be the only straw cop out there making the world safer for sea turtles.