59999
49467

World  

Want a straw? Just ask

If you want a straw with your drink or a soda with a kids' meal at a California restaurant, you'll need to ask for them starting next year.

A law signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown makes California the first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws. Another law he approved requires milk or water to be the default drink sold with kids' meals at fast-food and full-service restaurants.

Neither law is an outright ban on straws or sugary drinks in kids' meals. But some Republicans have called the measures government overreach by the heavily Democratic state.

California restaurants that don't comply with the straw law will get two warnings before being fined. Lawmakers changed the legislation to add a $300 annual fine limit. It will apply only to sit-down restaurants where customers are waited on by restaurant staff, not fast-food establishments.

Health inspectors will be responsible for enforcing the law.

Democratic lawmakers who support the policy call it a small step toward reducing ocean pollution.

Brown, who has made environmental issues a signature priority, pointed to the large amount of plastic dumped in oceans every year that can kill whales and fish and contaminate people's food and water supplies.

"Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences," Brown said in a statement. "Plastics, in all forms — straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc. — are choking the planet."

California's law doesn't go as far as those in cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, that ban straws outright.

Critics argue California's straw law won't significantly improve the environment. Some say restricting straws hurts disabled people who rely on them.

And some lawmakers who voted against the measure said it would unfairly punish restaurants, although the restaurant industry didn't oppose the proposal.



More World News

World
London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
57111
Recent Trending
59355
Okanagan Oldies
133230
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
59426



59469
133610