Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Seattle became the first major U.S. city to ban plastic straws and utensils on Sunday — a conservation move that officials hope will decrease plastic waste and encourage behavioral changes, per the Seattle Times.

Why it matters: The idea has been gaining traction worldwide as plastic waste pollutes the world's oceans and harms marine animals, but Seattle is by far the largest U.S. municipality to enact such a ban. Other U.S. towns like Malibu, Davis and San Luis Obispo in California, as well as Miami Beach and Fort Myers in Florida have passed similar ordinances banning plastic straws.

Outside the U.S., Scotland plans to ban plastic straws by the end of next year, and Taiwan is banning single-use plastic items, including cups, straws and shopping bags by 2030. British Prime Minister Theresa May made a similar pledge earlier this year to end the nation's avoidable plastic waste within the next 25 years.

  • Per the Strawless Ocean campaign, drinking straws are too lightweight to make it through industrial recycling sorters. They frequently end up getting blown in the wind, ultimately ending up in the ocean.

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The second jobs apocalypse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week, United Airlines warned 36,000 U.S. employees their jobs were at risk, Walgreens cut more than 4,000 jobs, Wells Fargo announced it was preparing thousands of terminations this year, and Levi's axed 700 jobs due to falling sales.

Why it matters: We have entered round two of the jobs apocalypse. Those announcements followed similar ones from the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Choice hotels, which all have announced thousands of job cuts, and the bankruptcies of more major U.S. companies like 24 Hour Fitness, Brooks Brothers and Chuck E. Cheese in recent days.

Big Tech marshals a right-leaning army of allies for antitrust fight

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As tech's giants prepare to face off with antitrust enforcers this summer, they will draw support from an array of predominantly right-leaning defenders ranging from influential former government officials to well-connected think tanks.

The big picture: The Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the states have multiple investigations of monopolistic behavior underway targeting Facebook and Google, with other giants like Amazon and Apple also facing rising scrutiny. Many observers expect a lawsuit against Google to land this summer.

John Roberts' long game

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is not the revolutionary that conservative activists want him to be.

He moves slower than they want, sides with liberals more than they want, and trims his sails in ways they find maddening. But he is still deeply and unmistakably conservative, pulling the law to the right — at his own pace and in his own image.