Activists believe the anti-straw push can advance more rapidly because, while some people view plastic bags as something of a necessity, straws are generally viewed as a small indulgence that consumers can do without.

”Straws are something anyone can give up easily without having it affect their lifestyle,” said Diana Lofflin, founder of StrawFree.org, a San Diego-based nonprofit. “It’s a small step anyone can take to make a global impact.”

The initiatives seem to be gaining energy because of viral photos and videos of seals trapped in plastic netting, dead whales disgorging mounds of plastic and — in one video viewed nearly 25 million times on YouTube — a sea turtle suffering as rescuers struggle to remove a straw from its nose.