Lawmaker Wants To Make It A Crime To Serve Plastic Straws In Restaurants

Plastic Straws

A California lawmaker wants to make it a crime to serve plastic straws in a restaurant unless the customer requests it. Ian Calderson is the Democratic Majority Leader of the California State Assembly. He stated that he wants to pass a law that punishes people who serves straws without a customer request. If they serve plastic straws, then they could be charged a fine of $1,000. They could also spend up to six months in jail.

Ian stated that he wants to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic straws. Many of the plastic straws are ending up in landfills and oceans. This is not the first time that the California Assembly has worked to reduce plastic straw usage. Two cities in California have already banned the use of plastic straws in restaurants. San Diego County has also taken steps to reduce plastic straw usage. They will ban plastic utensils and straws in July 2018.

The Los Angeles Times has endorsed the no straws law. The newspaper has already written articles saying that plastic straws are just as harmful for the environment as plastic bottles. Seventy-five percent of plastic water bottles are recycled. However, plastic straws are typically dumped in the trash.

Ian stated that there are 500 million plastic straws used every day. However, this is a number that the National Park Service cites. No one knows the exact number of straws that are used everyday.

The National Park Service gets their information from Eco-cycle. They do not have any data on their website to back this number up. However, Eco-Cycle stated that they use phone surveys to get their information.

Many people are concerned about how many plastic straws are in the ocean. There are not any global figures that exist. According to the California Global Commission, 800 million stirrers and straws have been collected since 1988.