Could Plastic Straws Soon Be Illegal?

A new bill proposed in California by State Assemblyman Ian Calderon could be catastrawphic for plastic-straw manufacturers if passed. People are buzzing about a motion that would make straws available only upon request. As the law stands, any server who brings customers a straw without their asking could face six months’ jail time and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

Since the bill was initially introduced in mid-January, there’s been a considerable amount of backlash. Another California politician, Travis Allen, was so miffed by the proposal that he invited his Facebook followers to flood Calderon’s office with new and used straws to convey their disagreement. Calderon, who is a Democrat, has been vocal in the days following the bill’s introduction, claiming that many have misunderstood its original intent. So what exactly is going on with California’s proposed straw ban?

As it turns out, the intense language currently built into the law is only temporary. Calderon assures that when the proposal was initially sent to the state legislative rules committee, the fines and jail time were automatically tacked on because of health and safety-code regulations. He took to Twitter to clarify:

Calderon further clarified that the bill would not extend to include fast-food restaurants, cafés, or delis, nor would it apply to takeout orders. Instead, it’s meant to bring attention and awareness to an environmental issue. Straws are a massive source of pollution, and because they are not recyclable, they either end up in landfills or as litter. Between 1989 and 2014, cleanup crews along California’s coast recorded finding around 736,000 straws and stirrers.

Can the bill bring about the end of all this trash? First, it has to pass. Until then, follow Calderon as he attempts to change the way we sip.

What do you think of the bill? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

(via Food52)

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