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California Bill Raises Controversy

USA Today

USA Today

Abril Antonini, Staff Writer

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  A proposed California bill has raised controversy due to its harsh punishments for  plastic straws.  The bill proposed a $1000 fine or up to 6 months jail time to servers who hand out unsolicited straws to customers in sit-in restaurants.

  Ian Calderon, the Democratic assemblyman who proposed the bill, spoke out on Twitter defending his bill.  He said, “I’d like to clarify that #AB1884 (Straws Upon Request) is (a) NOT a ban; (b) should it become law, it will NOT make it a crime for servers to provide plastic straws. My intention is simply to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of plastic straws on our environment.”

  Despite the clarifications, Calderon’s bill has garnered backlash. , In a statement made to ABC News, Travis Allen,a candidate for Governor of California said, “Instead of tackling the real issues, today’s California Democrats are more interested in giving jail time to waiters offering their customers the convenience of having a straw…his is one absurd bill, but it highlights how ridiculous the California Democrats have gotten. This is clearly the last straw.”

  Hannah Logo (10) said, “I think that the bill is a little bit extreme and even though the environment should be protected no matter what, making waiters pay or even go to jail for being polite and doing their job is very ridiculous.”

  The issue of plastic straws and plastic pollution has been debated for a long time even before the bill was proposed. The National Park Service’s Be Straw Free Campaign stated on its website, “To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every day. That’s 46,400 school buses every year.”

  Jhil Patel (11), the president of Environmental Club said, “The problem of plastic pollution is a really important topic that need to be addressed and if controversy brings the issue to light then so be it.”   

 

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California Bill Raises Controversy