Regulating by Way of Straws

Americans each day use 500 million plastic straws, according to some estimates. Overall, more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic—and counting—have amassed in the ocean, where they harm animal life and may threaten the fisheries and marine ecosystems on which humans depend. California Assembly Member Ian Calderon (D-Calif.) has recently started an effort aimed at slowing down the accumulation of plastic waste in the ocean. In mid-January, Calderon introduced a bill in the California State Assembly that would prevent dine-in restaurants from supplying patrons with plastic straws unless they ask. Calderon explained that his “straws-upon-request” bill would seek “to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways, and oceans.” Calderon stated that if a customer at a restaurant must ask for a straw, the customer might begin to wonder why the server did not provide a straw in…

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