California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill to ban the use of single-use straws across the US state in a move to reduce ocean waste and protect marine life.
The Assembly Bill restricts full-service dining establishments from offering single-use straws unless requested by the customer.
According to the bill, the government will send a notice of any first and second violations by the restaurants and further violations will be subject to a fine of $25 for each day up to an annual total of $300 or less.
Authorities responsible for enforcing the California Retail Food Code in the state will enforce the new provisions.
Brown was quoted by CNBC as saying: “It is a very small step to make a customer who wants a plastic straw ask for it. And it might make them pause and think again about an alternative. But one thing is clear, we must find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic products.”
Single-use plastic straws covered under the provisions include disposable tube made of plastic derived from petroleum or biologically-based polymer but not straws made from non-plastic materials such as paper, pasta, sugar cane, wood and bamboo.
Major cities in the state such as Malibu and San Francisco have already banned the use of plastic straws and other single-use items including plastic utensils.
The new law is scheduled to go into effect on 1 January 2019.