California, Stop Sucking: Adopt a "Straw Upon Request" Policy

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Americans use an estimated 500 million plastic straws each day ― that's enough to wrap around the circumference of the earth 2.5 times. By 2050, it has been predicted that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Plastic straws are made of polypropylene, a petroleum-derived polymer which takes up to 200 years to decompose. Although polypropylene is an entirely recyclable plastic resin, industrial recycling facilities don't accept plastic straws, as recycling machines don't accommodate for the small size of straws.

We use this item at our convenience and toss it, often without considering the repercussions of this single-use item. As reported by the EPA, one-third to two-thirds of the debris found on beaches comes from single use, disposable plastic packaging from food and beverage-related goods and services. Plastic straws are one of the most prevalent items found polluting our oceans and waterways. Each year, 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from ingesting small plastics. 

Currently, there is a "straw upon request" bill making its way through the California State Legislature ― Assembly Bill 1884. This ordinance would require restaurant associations to provide plastic straws only to customers that request one, rather than giving all customers one. With this policy, the use of straws are still available to those who require it to drink, such as children or those with physical disabilities. This policy would only apply to sit-down restaurants, not bars or fast food locations.

We at Smart Environment have created this petition in support of this state bill. This subtle change would not greatly reduce the unnecessary use of straws, but also bring attention to the urgency of the battle against plastic pollution. 

Make your voice be heard by signing, sharing, and refusing the plastic straw.

This petition will be addressed to the California Environmental Legislative Caucus, specifically co-chairs Senator Fran Pavley and Assembly Member Mark Stone, and staff Andrei Gribakov and Henry Stern.

 

Video Sources:

https://www.lonelywhale.org/strawlessocean/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2J2qdOrW44&t=28s

Other Sources:

https://get-green-now.com/environmental-impact-plastic-straws/

https://4ocean.com/blogs/blog/how-long-does-it-take-trash-to-biodegrade

https://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-07/how-it-works-recycling-machines-separate-junk-type

https://www.epa.gov/trash-free-waters/sources-aquatic-trash

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/01/29/plastic-straws-illegal-unless-requested-under-california-bill/1074610001/



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