California has become to first state to ban plastic straws from being distributed at restaurants, unless otherwise requested. Gov. Brown signed the new bill on Thurs, Sept. 20 2018.
The bill, however only applies to full service, dine-in, restaurants and not fast food restaurants. Violators could face up to 25 dollars for each day the restaurant is in violation.
The cafeteria on campus will not be directly affected by this new law because students have the option to get straws on their way out, if they chose too.
Though this new law may seem minimal, Gov. Brown feels it is a step in the right direction saying in a letter written to legislators last month, “It might make them pause and think again about an alternative,” said Brown. “But one thing is clear, we must find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic products.”
According to the California Coastal Commission, since 1998-2016, straws are the sixth most common found item during beach clean ups, reported to have collected 835,425 straws.
The anti-straw movement has been gaining momentum since 2015 due to a viral and graphic video showing a plastic straw being pulled out of a sea turtle’s bloody nose.
Many cities in California, have since adopted policies regulating or banning plastic straw use, including San Francisco and Malibu.
The legislation does not prevent cities or counties from adopting stricter ordinances to further regulate plastic straw usage.
Starbucks and Disney have been some of the bigger corporations to begin regulating plastic straw use, with Starbucks announcing a complete ban by 2020, while Disney began enforcing the “by request only” policy.
“I think it is about time,” said Liz Hernandez, sociology major, “It’s such a simple way to be not as wasteful.”
The anti-straw movement has received both praise and backlash since its gain in momentum. With most believing it will help make a difference, and some believe regulating rather then an all-out ban would be a better option.
“I think they should regulate but not completely ban straws,” said FC biology major Shirley Sanchez, “I like using straws but I do think we should help bring down the usage.”