California’s Straw Ban: Everything You Need to Know
Wondering if California banned plastic straws and what other states are doing? Here’s everything you need to know...
The sunshine state, California, has been making some major changes over the years that have made it a leader in “going green”. Back in 2014, they became the first state to enact a statewide ban of single-use plastic bags at large retail stores. This ban brought a minimum 10-cent charge to use alternative recycled paper bags, reusable plastic bags, and compostable bags at some locations. Read more about this ban from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Another major ban that California has made since the 2014 ban on single-use plastic bags, is the ban on single-use plastic straws. This is just yet another step in the process of eliminating the use of single-use plastics that can harm our planet. According to CNN, Governor Jerry Brown has said that “plastic, in all forms, are choking our planet”. He is hoping that the straw ban will make people more aware of the issue.
Did California Ban Straws?
Plastic straws are not banned in California. However, Assembly Bill No. 1884 has drastically limited the of single-use plastic straws in full-service, sit-down restaurants.
This ban prohibits servers from providing plastic straws or other plastic utensils without the consumer requesting one. It also comes with a fine for restaurants that are not following the new ban. These restaurants can receive a $25 per day fine until they follow the ban guidelines. This fine maxes out at $300 per year.
What qualifies as a full-service restaurant? A full-service restaurant is one that’s primary purpose is to serve food that is consumed on the property. To qualify as full-service, it must be a restaurant where customers are served their food at an assigned table.
Although this act does not completely ban the use of single-use straws, it does have a major impact. Some cities and counties within California have also implemented their own bans. These bans are similar and some are even more limiting on the use of single-use plastics.
Are Straws Illegal in California?
So, does this mean that straws are illegal in the state of California? No, they are not illegal, but hopefully, the ban will bring more awareness to the issue and drastically limit California’s plastic straw usage.
Plastic straws are in the top ten contributors of plastic marine debris across the entire globe. With the USA using millions of single-use plastic straws each day, this will only get worse over time.
Most recycling machines aren’t capable of recycling straws and to date, the world has only recycled 9% of all used plastic. This statistic hasn’t changed since 2012 because of the increased usage of single-use plastics (OurLastStraw.org).
Other States Following Suit
It’s clear that single-use plastic, including straws, has a huge impact on our environment. It has been estimated that approximately 2,000 tons of plastic straws enter the world’s oceans each year (Phys.org). Plastic pollution is at an all-time high and many states and companies are taking action.
Since the ban of single-use plastic bags in 2014, seven other states have implemented a statewide ban as well. There are also several cities throughout the USA that have bans and fees implemented. You can learn more about the states and cities with bans here.
Oregon also followed suit with California by banning single-use plastic straws at restaurants unless it is specifically requested by the consumer. There are also many other states with partial bans as well.
Some companies like Starbucks, American Airlines, Royal Caribbean, Aramark, and Disney are also taking steps to limit single-use straws. Learn more about specific companies that are having an impact at NBCNnews.com and GreenMatters.com.
By: beyondGREEN biotech, Inc. | November 26, 2021