As major cities like Baltimore, Maryland and companies like Starbucks and Disney are preparing to send straws the way of the dodo, California has officially become the first state to ban plastic straws. Read on for all the legal deets.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law banning full-service restaurants from automatically handing out plastic straws to customers. The law falls short of banning straws entirely, as restaurants may still offer them upon request, but the hope is that this move will help minimize plastic pollution.

“Plastics, in all forms—straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc.—are choking our planet,” Brown said in a statement. “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.”

The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019, doesn’t apply to fast food restaurants or convenience stores. While full-service restaurants are banned from offering plastic straws, they can automatically provide alternatives, such as paper or metal straws.

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—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Rainier Ridao via Unsplash

 

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