Whenever there is a beach cleanup event, plastic straws always seem to be one of the things that are found the most. These and other single-use plastics cause millions of marine animal deaths each year.
In an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastics, on September 20th 2018, California Gov. Jerry Brown made history by signing Assembly Bill (AB) 1884 into law. The law, according to Recycling Today, “prohibits dine-in restaurants in the state from automatically providing plastic straws to its patrons, making it the first state to implement such a policy.”
The law goes into effect in the beginning of 2019 and will “prohibit a full-service restaurant … from providing single-use plastic straws … to consumers unless requested by the consumer,” according to the bill.
At the end of June 2018, a Seattle ban on single-use plastic products like straws and utensils took full effect. Many other cities across the country have enacted similar policies, including Malibu and San Francisco.
“It is a very small step to make a customer who wants a plastic straw ask for it,” Brown said in his signing message for AB 1884, reports CNBC. “And it might make them pause and think again about an alternative. But one thing is clear, we must find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic products.”
And, if the environmental damage that plastic straws cause don’t deter you from grabbing one at the drive thru, this Washington Post article may change your mind. Read Plastic straws aren’t just bad for the environment — they can be bad for your body.