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A. Malek

Published:
2018-09-22 11:00:50 BdST

California to limit use of plastic straws in restaurants


California restaurants will soon stop providing plastic straws unless customers explicitly ask for them, under a new law signed on Thursday by the state’s environment-friendly governor.

Governor Jerry Brown said he hoped the measure — which goes into effect
next year and is the first of its kind nationwide — would spur people to
“pause and think” about an alternative before requesting a straw.

“It is a very small step to make a customer who wants a plastic straw ask
for it,” Brown said in a statement.

“But one thing is clear — we must find ways to reduce and eventually
eliminate single-use plastic products,” added the governor, a fierce
environmentalist who has been a leading US voice in the battle to fight
climate change.

Under the new law, restaurants that don’t comply will get two warnings
before being fined a maximum of $300 a year.

Brown warned that plastics in all forms were “choking our planet” and
pointed to the huge amount of plastic products dumped into the oceans every
year, killing off marine life.

“Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation
with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences,” he said.

The new law comes amid increased awareness worldwide about the global
plastic waste crisis.

The European Union in May proposed a bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics
such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds while urging the collection of most
plastic drink bottles by 2025.

France plans to introduce a penalty system next year that would increase
the costs of consumer goods made of plastic, including plates, cups and
utensils.

 

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