Assembly Approves Calderon Straws-Upon-Request Legislation
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assembly Bill 1884, a measure authored by Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) which calls upon dine-in, full service restaurants to have a straws-upon-request policy, passed the Assembly Floor today.
“AB 1884 will help us meet our solid waste goals and reduce the negative effects of plastic pollution,” stated Majority Leader Calderon. “By removing the default behavior of providing straws with every drink, a consumer is given the chance to make a deliberate, small change that will lessen the harmful impacts of discarded plastic straws in our environment.”
The California Coastal Commission has recorded roughly 835,425 of straws picked up between 1988 and 2014. Straws are marked as the 6th most common item found during organized beach cleanups. This data doesn’t include straws picked up inland or around California’s lakes and waterways.
Plastics in the ocean attract other pollutants in the water, magnifying the toxicity of the plastic fragments that are consumed by the seafood we eat. While most plastics can be recycled, the vast majority of these single-use plastic straws are often discarded and can’t be recycled due to their lack of resin code. Sadly, these non-biodegradable plastic straws frequently end up in our oceans and waterways where they break down into smaller, micro-size pieces that are oftentimes mistaken as food by marine life.
Currently, there is no statewide law regarding the distribution of straws at dine-in, full service establishments. However, the cities of Malibu and Davis have adopted city-wide ordinances implementing straw-upon-request policies and several cities are currently exploring the same proposals. This week, the European Commission proposed a ban on a multitude of single-use plastic items, including straws, in order to reduce marine pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
AB 1884 is headed to the Senate next.
Contact: Lerna Shirinian (562) 692-5858