Plastic straws will be banned as a result of a new bill. (Photo by Stephanie Kiang)
La Cañada High School

Recent Bill will ban plastic straws in some restaurants

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into law that will ban sit-down restaurants from giving their customers plastic straws. The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. If a customer would like a straw, they will have to request one.

“I think it’s a good idea because plastic straws aren’t necessary. I’ve seen some restaurants use paper straws,” sophomore Helen Fenske said.

Jesse Lee, who is also a sophomore, agreed that the ban was a good idea.

“I don’t think using a straw every time [you drink] is necessary. You can just drink from the cup, or get a cup that doesn’t need a straw,” Lee said.

Fast food restaurants, however, will still be allowed to give their customers plastic straws, and takeout orders will still receive them as well.

According to The Epoch Times, assemblymen Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) and Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) brought up the idea of getting rid of straws. They also brought up Assembly Bill 1884, which states that full-service restaurants, or restaurants in which food is eaten by customers at the building’s premises, are allowed to serve straws made out of paper, for example.

According to leginfo.legislature.ca.gov, Brown approved the bill on September 20. The bill has made it clear that the first and second time this law has been broken, a violation notice will be given. Further violations will result in a $25 fine for every day that the law has not been followed. However, this fine can not go over an annual amount of $300.

The authority figures who ensure that the California Retail Food Code is followed will be in charge of making sure the same is done for this bill.

An article in Newsweek stated that Santa Barbara has the strictest law regarding plastic. In bars and restaurants, it will be illegal to hand out plastic stirrers and utensils, unless a customer has asked for them.

According to the website for the magazine Reason, Santa Barbara “has made a second violation of its straw prohibition both an administrative infraction carrying a $100 fine and a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Each contraband straw or unsolicited plastic stirrer counts as a separate violation, so fines and jail time could stack up quickly.”  

While some have been in favor of the bill, others have expressed their displeasure with it. Assemblymen Travis Allen and Matthew Harper, and assemblywoman Melissa Melendez have all opposed the bill for different reasons.

 

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