Majority Leader Calderon Introduces Straws-Upon-Request Legislation

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Sacramento, CA – Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) introduced Assembly Bill 1884 this week, a measure that calls upon dine-in restaurants to have a straws-upon-request policy.

According to the Bill:

Existing law requires, except as otherwise provided, a person who violates any provision of the code to be guilty of a misdemeanor with each offense punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 6 months, or by both.
This bill would prohibit a food facility, as specified, where food may be consumed on the premises from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested by the consumer. By creating a new crime and imposing additional enforcement duties on local health agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

“We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways, and oceans,” stated Majority Leader Calderon. “AB 1884 is not ban on plastic straws. It is a small step towards curbing our reliance on these convenience products, which will hopefully contribute to a change in consumer attitudes and usage.”

Calderon further clarified on twitter:

 

Via Twitter

I’d like to clarify that (Straws Upon Request) is (a) NOT a ban; (b) should it become law, it will NOT make it a crime for servers to provide plastic straws. My intention is simply to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of plastic straws on our environment.

When questioned on the $1,000 fine, he replied to the questions.

That’s according to the code section the bill is currently in. But it will not say in. Amendments are part of the legislative process.

No, not really. The penalties are attached to the code section the bill is currently in. That will change. Amendments are part of the legislative process.

For actual Tweets, click the image on the right!

According to Calderon’s press release, Plastic is a material that lasts forever, yet 33 percent of all plastics are used just once and thrown away. Only 9% of all plastics are recycled, but due to their small size and lack of a resin code, no straws are ever recycled. After their one-time use, non-biodegradable plastic straws often end up in our oceans and waterways where they break down into smaller, micro-size pieces that are discarded into our environment. They are oftentimes mistaken as food by marine life.

An estimated 500 million straws are used in the United States every day. This number is enough to fill over 127 school buses each day and is calculated to be about 1.6 straws per person in the U.S. In a summary of all trash collected as part of California’s Coastal Cleanup Day between 1989 and 2014, straws and stirrers rank as the 6th most common item collected. AB 1884 is a step toward lowering these alarming figures and is a simple way for consumers to change their plastic use behavior.


31 COMMENTS

  1. Really? This is what we pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars to do. God already gave me a brain and this country has already given me the unalienable right to speak up and say “no straw, thank you”. Instead of trying to pass ridiculous and unenforceable legislation why can’t we focus on enforcing legitimate laws. This is tantamount to legislating human decency. Great concept but unfortunately as long as being stupid doesn’t hurt there are those that will continue to be just that and the rest of us that pay for their bad choices.

  2. Watching the video of the sea turtle having a plastic straw pulled out of its nose will show you that this legislation is long overdue. Why can a person drink from a glass at home and all of a sudden need a straw at a restaurant? I applaud and fully support Assembly Leader Calderon. Good Job!

      • Because stupid people don’t understand how all the plastic they are using is destroying our oceans and the animals that live in them! If you educate yourself you will appreciate that this legislation is a small step in the right direction. Why on earth does anyone need to use a straw to drink their beverage? The straw that you use for a few minutes is made of plastic which doesn’t biodegrade and will sit in a landfill or find its way into our oceans and exist for hundreds of years. Sea birds, marine mammals, and fish are dying at an alarming rate because of all the plastic garbage in the oceans. They mistake it for food, get entangled in it, and suffer greatly…all because entitled people think they should be able to do whatever they want. Our planet needs this legislation and I for one hope that other states follow our lead.

    • The reason I ask for a straw for my drink in restaurants is because I never know who handled the outside of my glass with hands he or she did not wash in the bathroom! I take the straw home with me, cut it up and burn it to a crisp. It totally disintegrates!

    • Nancy
      Tutles live in the Ocean. So what cost was the turtle on? In what part of the world?
      So we outlaw ALL straws?
      Plastic bottle, cartons and containers have been killing the ocean for years what about eliminating the massive world use of them.
      Californians have givin up there individuality to think for themselves.

      • From what I learned in my zoology class, most turtles are in Atlantic waters on the east coast of both continents.

    • Kind of reminds me of the toilet paper they issue in the public toilets in England. They are of waxy consistency, one small square and with the wording, “Property of Her Majesty The Queen.” Amazing!

  3. More useless legislation. Not much left do in Sacramento, since all the State’s major problems are solved. Well done Mr. Calderon, this straw’s for you.

  4. Sir you have lost your mind. GONE are the days of true caring lawmakers that focus on life changing problems that make a difference.
    Your creating minutia
    This State is being crippled by your kind.

  5. This is beyond belief. Stick a straw up yours. Can’t find anything more important to focus on. Why don’t u fight against higher tax gas or higher bay bridge tolls. Oh and yes are the roads being fixed? Oh we should worry about a straw that will fix everything. What a joke. U sld sleep good knowing u fixed an important issue, a straw.

  6. Why not start an ad campaign instead of making laws against straws? The hashtag could simply be #californiasucks.

  7. Common sense says straws will continue to plague our ecosystems until no longer produced. Banning at a “sit down” restaurant is a gesture of “doing something” but changes nothing. I can’t remember the last time I begged for water (because you can’t serve water unless requested) and was given a straw. I have to ask for one when the teeth are sensitive.

  8. “this bill would impose a state mandated program” meaning, California is now hiring staw police to enforce private company policy generated by law…. California needs to learn from Trump, make California great again!

  9. WOW! You are all very critical but I do not read a single alternative. People have an idea that they can do whatever they want and when it goes sideways the expect the government to “fix” it but only if certain parameters are met to that “fix” and those are different from person to person. Do you hate this bill because its a demo bill or because you do not believe plastic is a problem? I read these comments and you all shoot down people that provide solid information with nasty comments (is that because you have no solid information to contribute beyond hate?). How many of you recycle? how many of you have kids or grand kids maybe take them to the dump and let them play for awhile because that will be their world if WE can not be responsible with it now. So many of you feel micromanaged by government but support the epitome of state control without blinking an eye. You dislike this bill for one reason its a dem that is supporting it. Your tax dollars are very important to you when it is to feed the poor support, the elderly and provide for everyone in need (Puerto Rico for example) but you stay quiet when it comes to golf trips and walls.

  10. Just more nanny state bullshit from another idiot who thinks to highly of themselves.
    News Flash: You can’t legislate people into thing and acting responsibly.

  11. This will only be the beginning in what will end up like the plastic bags: Either bring your own straw, or pay ten cents at the restaurant. Moving to Florida last year was the single best thing I ever did.

  12. He makes a valid point about micro plastics ending up being eaten by sealife. It would be far easier to just allow no plastic straws or plastic drink bottles.

    I well remember paper straws and glass deposit soda bottles. It would be beneficial to bring both back

  13. I have a degree in environmental science you can look me up at paulstamets.com and I think that something like this is great for us.

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