SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The state is one step closer to regulating how Californians receive their drinks. Two bills that have reached Governor Jerry Brown’s desk will eliminate single-use plastic straws and sodas in kids meals.
The plastic straw law would ban full service restaurants from providing the straws unless specifically requested by the customer. The bill, recently passed in the Senate, excludes fast-food restaurants because critics say customers should be provided a straw while drinking beverages in the car. Environmentalists applaud the effort saying plastic straws end up in the ocean and often inside the bellies of fish.
A second bill will mandate all restaurants to set milk or water as the default drink for any kids’ meal. Parents are still permitted to order a separate drink, but the restaurant cannot market anything but milk or water. Restaurants that don’t adhere to the law may be fined up to $500.
If the governor signs the bills, both will take effect January 1.