SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBSLA/AP) – The California Legislature is taking aim at plastic straws – along with one of the Southland’s biggest sporting venues.
Lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a measure that supporters say would make California the first state to ban full-service restaurants from giving out single-use plastic straws unless customers request them. It wouldn’t ban straws as some cities have in a bid to combat waste.
The bill would apply only to full-service restaurants, not fast food establishments. Restaurants would be warned for first and second violations and fined $25 per day for subsequent infractions, with an annual fine limit of $300.
The California measure, which passed the Assembly 45-20, is part of a larger trend in cities across the United States that are banning plastic bags, plastic utensils and other plastic goods to reduce ocean pollution.
On Friday, StubHub Center joined the anti-plastic-straw movement, announcing a policy that will see the venue only offer paper straws to customers — and only upon request — at its concession stands.
The Carson stadium said the new policy will go into effect immediately starting with Friday night’s matchup between the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club, and will remain effective for other StubHub Center events, including Los Angeles Chargers games.
Under the policy, drinks served at the stadium will not come with a straw, but paper ones will be provided if the customer requests one. A limited number of plastic straws will be available for people with “special needs,” according to stadium officials.
The policy is expected to keep about 250,000 plastic straws a year out of landfills, officials said.
Last month, Starbucks made the sweeping announcement that it would stop offering plastic straws at all its stores by 2020. Also in July, Disney announced it would eliminate plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all its theme parks and other operations worldwide by mid-2019.
In June, SeaWorld removed all single-use plastic drinking straws and shopping bags from its theme parks.
On Thursday, Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain, reported it would get rid of plastic bags at all its stores by 2025.
San Francisco and Seattle passed plastic straw bans earlier this year, drawing ire from conservatives who see the restrictions as government overreach and liberals who say outlawing straws hurts disabled people.
Democratic California Assemblyman Ian Calderon described his measure, AB1884, as a small step toward reducing plastic use and fighting pollution.
Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez said she doesn’t believe the measure would effectively curb ocean pollution and would unfairly punish restaurants.
Calderon says the measure would not be overly burdensome on businesses. The restaurant industry didn’t oppose it.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Wire services contributed to this report.)