A new bill in California has just been passed that bans restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws with drinks.
The new law will begin next and only applies to full service restaurants. The bill, signed by California Jerry Brown, states that customers who want a plastic straw still will be able to request them from restaurants.
“Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences,” Brown wrote in a signing message, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It is a very small step to make a customer who wants a plastic straw ask for it,” Brown said, the Times reports.
The bill makes California the first state to ban restaurants from automatically giving out plastic straws. If a restaurant is not in compliance with he new law, the establishment will receive two warnings and can be fined up to $300 per year. The restaurant industry did not fight the bill as it made it’s way through state congress.
It is estimated that Americans use 500 million straws per day and straws are among the top 10 marine debris collected during the International Coastal Cleanup, according to Sailors for the Sea, a nonprofit organization.