If you’re a waiter at a California Applebee’s who dares offer your customers a plastic straw to go with their size-regulated soft drink, that mere thoughtful gesture might soon net you jail time and/or a $1,000 fine under the Golden State’s latest proposed law.
In an effort to prevent the (apparently) impending environmental apocalypse caused by eight-inch drinking aids the size of a pencil, California Democratic Majority Leader Ian Calderon has introduced a new bill that would penalize servers for offering restaurant patrons straws without first being asked. In fact, under the proposed law, offering a plastic straw to a customer who doesn't ask for one would be classified as a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.
Calderon defended his proposal in a press release:
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.
“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 notes that while café-goers can still request and obtain plastic straws if they so choose, he hopes his new bill will “change their plastic use behavior.” Because apparently, the state law charging people for plastic bags at grocery stores doesn’t go far enough.
Then again, this is the same state that’s also currently considering a ban on plastic bottle tops, subsequent damage to the beverage industry be damned.