California Targets Plastic Straws to Help Save Environment


Nathalia Valdez, Social Media and Communication

Every year 500 million plastic straws are used (and probably thrown away after one use). Even though one little straw may not seem harmful, it can cause a lot of damage. And California is doing something about it.

Three years ago the state of California banned one time use plastic bags and now their next target… plastic straws. Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier (Los Angeles County), introduced a bill this month that would make it a crime for a waiter at a sit-down restaurant to provide a plastic straw without being asked for one first. The fine is up to 1000 dollars and 6 months in jail. The goal being to produce less waste, but are those penalties really necessary? “It will be a law that will need to be complied with, but not with those penalties,” Calderon wrote on Twitter.

This law does not apply to delis, fast food places, or cafes. Although some restaurants have already started to take action, such as Pagan Idol tiki bar in San Francisco’s Financial District already has stopped using plastic straws and replaced them with paper straws.

“It took years for the Legislature to pass a ban on plastic bags,” Lewis said. “I don’t know if the same will be true of straws.” We are all hoping Legislature’s pass this law soon, because plastic straws are starting to become a big problem. And trust me, we don’t want something as meaningless and simple as a little straw to be the cause of the environment’s destruction.