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California is moving forward to ban plastic straws

California is moving forward to ban plastic straws

No plastic strawsAssemblyman Ian Calderon introduced a Bill which would require dine-in restaurants to have a straws-upon-request only policy. The bill hopes to curb the use of straws and help protect the environment.
“It is time that create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our oceans,” Calderon said. However, the Bill is not a ban on plastic straws. It is a small step towards the right direction as was the statewide ban of single-use plastic bags. Hopefully this new procedure at restaurants which lead to a change in consumer behavior.

Holding plastic straws on beach

Among all trash collected during Beach Cleanups in California, straws are ranked as the sixth most collected item. It is estimated that over 500 million straws are used each single day in the United States alone and are not recycled and often end up in oceans and waterways, where Marine Life often mistakes them as food.

Turtle with plastic straw in nose

Sharokina Shams, vice president of public affairs for the California Restaurant Association, said the association will study the bill’s potential impacts and consult with its membership before taking an official stance on the bill. However, Shams added that Calderon’s proposal is preferable to an outright ban on straws.

Pile of plastic straws on beach

“If, ultimately, legislation can support the idea of protecting the environment while also allowing consumers and businesses some cost-effective choices, that would be a positive step,” Shams said.

Single use plastic straws are a main contributor in Ocean Plastic Pollution. Although we are able to make stuffed animals from recycled plastic bottles, we have not found a way yet to efficiently recycle plastic straws into new products.
Stay tuned on this issue as we will keep you posted with any updates from Sacramento.