Researchers remove plastic straw from sea turtle’s nose
California restaurants will only provide plastic straws to customers upon request after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed legislation that aims to cut down on pollution.
The change covers full-service dining, but not takeout establishments like fast-food restaurants. It will take effect in 2019.
“Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences,” Brown wrote in a signing message for Assembly Bill 1884, pointing to plastic waste found in dead animals and tap water around the world. “It is a very small step to make a customer who wants a plastic straw ask for it. And it might make them pause and think again about an alternative.”
Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, introduced AB 1884 to raise awareness about the effect of single-use plastic items on the environment. Plastic straws and stirrers are the sixth-most common item found at beach cleanup days, according to the California Coastal Commission, with more than 835,000 picked up between 1988 and 2016.
Under the measure, businesses would receive a warning for their first two violations, then a $25 fine per day for each subsequent violation, up to $300 annually. Several California cities have already adopted similar ordinances, including Manhattan Beach, which in June banned plastic straws, stirrers and utensils completely.