By Daniel Ritz

During a meeting on May 22, the Dana Point Ocean Water Quality Subcommittee voted unanimously to support State Assembly Bill 1884, which would prohibit specified food facilities, where food may be consumed on-site, from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested by the consumer.

Rick Erkeneff, a director at South Coast Water District, explained that more than 500 million plastic straws are used per day in the United States.

“This is an impactful move,” City Council member and Ocean Water Quality Subcommittee Chairman Paul Wyatt said. “I don’t see it being a big deal for business owners.”

Wyatt noted that the bill only pertains to plastic straws, and not all single-use plastics.

The bill, introduced by Assembly members Ian Calderon and Richard Bloom in January, specifies that the first and second violations of these provisions would result in a warning and any subsequent violations would be an infraction punishable by a fine of $25 for each day of the food facility is in violation, not to exceed $300. A full version of the bill can be read here.

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  • How did arrive at the “500 million straws per day” number? Eco-Cycle’s response:
    “Eco-Cycle is unable to provide any data to back up this number, telling Reason that it was relying on the research of one Milo Cress. Cress—whose Be Straw Free Campaign is hosted on Eco-Cycle’s website—tells Reason that he arrived at the 500 million straws a day figure from phone surveys he conducted of straw manufacturers in 2011, when he was just 9 years old.”

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