“Straws on Request” bill to reduce Pacific plastic pollution passes Assembly floor

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Environment California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —  AB 1884 (Calderon/Bloom), which calls upon dine-in, full service restaurants to only give customers straws upon request, passed the State Assembly by a 45 to 17 margin with 16 “not voting” (this may change as legislators may add on their support). The bill now goes to the State Senate.

“Nothing we use for a few minutes should end up polluting our environment for thousands of years,” said Dan Jacobson, Director of Environment California. “The time for action is now.”

This victory follows closely behind Environment California’s campaign launch, “Wildlife Over Waste.” Last Thursday, Environment California, along with other environmental groups, hosted a press conference advocating for swift passage of state bills to reduce single-use plastic pollution.

“Straws are one of the mostly unnecessary, single-use disposable items that are consistently found as litter in our streets, parks, waterways and ocean. Giving consumers a choice as to whether or not they would like a straw reduces plastic pollution at its source, saves businesses money, and raises awareness about the growing plastic pollution crisis,” said Genevieve Abedon of Ecoconsult, who represents the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition, a group of eleven non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting plastic pollution solutions in the Capitol.

Already, many cities and counties have banned single-use plastic straws or only make them available upon request. For example, Santa Cruz County banned plastic straws, stir sticks and cutlery in 2017, and required all food service products to be recyclable or compostable.

“AB 1884 is a step in the right direction for California to continue being a steward for environmental protection. This bill can help consumers to make small, but impactful changes that will decrease the plastic pollution harming wildlife, clogging up our oceans and waterways, and eventually entering our food chain, said Eileen Tovar, Legislative Intern for Environment California.