Senate Committee on Environmental Quality Approves Calderon Straws-Upon-Request Legislation

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Senate Committee on Environmental Quality 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 Senate Committee on Environmental Quality today.

“It’s critical that we reduce the negative effects of plastic pollution,” stated Majority Leader Calderon. “By removing the default behavior of providing straws with every drink, consumers have an opportunity to make a deliberate, small change that will lessen the harmful impacts of single use plastic straws in our environment. It’s a small but significant step forward.”

The California Coastal Commission has recorded roughly 835,425 of straws picked up between 1988 and 2014. Straws are 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.

Plastic waste discarded into the environment damages ecosystems and marine animals, contaminates our food supply, and can lead to chemical leaching. Evidence now shows that food and drinks meant for human consumption are contaminated with plastic. For example, researchers at UC Davis found that one-quarter of the fish from markets in California and Indonesia contained plastic debris.

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. The bill preserves the authority of cities to enact more stringent local ordinances.  Recently, 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.

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Contact: Lerna Shirinian (562) 692-5858