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Illegal Straws!

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California lawmaker wants to stop restaurants from giving out plastic straws

Waitress Sheila Abramson at Langer's Delicatessen serves customers on February 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Waitress Sheila Abramson at Langer's Delicatessen serves customers on February 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (WCMH) — A California lawmaker has introduced legislation making it a crime for a server to provide unsolicited plastic straws in restaurants.

Ian Calderon, the majority leader in California’s lower house, introduced the measure a week ago.

If passed, the bill would make it illegal to provide single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested by the consumer. The legislation exempts take-out and fast food restaurants.

A violation of the law would be a misdemeanor punishable by a $25 to $1,000 fine and/or a six-month jail sentence.

“We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways, and oceans,” said 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.”

A press release from Calderon’s office says an estimated 500 million straws are used in the United States each day, enough to fill more than 127 school buses.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the proposal is far short of an outright ban that some environmental groups are pushing for.

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