A bill introduced in California in January would make it illegal for full-service restaurants to offer customers plastic straws with beverages, unless requested by the guest.
“We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways and oceans,” Ian Calderon, D-Whittier and majority leader of the California State Assembly, said in a statement.
Environmental activists and other sustainability-minded folks have zeroed in on plastic straws as a contributor to waste, especially in waterways. An estimated 500 million plastic straws are used in the U.S. each day, according to Eco-Cycle, a non-profit recycler.
Straws aren’t completely going away, with suppliers creating reusable straws out of metal and glass, for instance, or disposable straws from paper or compostable materials. And Calderon said his proposal wasn’t intended to completely do away with 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,” he said in a statement.