Freeze! Hand’s Up! Now, put down that straw. Santa Barbara criminalizes offering straws

Straws a ban including jail time

(Santa Barbara, Ca) Yes. You will go to jail for up to six months or pay a fine $1,000 for giving plastic straws to your customers According to a newly passed ordinance in Santa Barbara.

The bill was passed unanimously last Tuesday and applies to bars, restaurants, and other food-service type businesses. Establishments are allowed to provide plastic straws only if patrons request them.

While nationally some cities, such as Seattle and San Francisco, have adopted ordinances banning plastic straws in some form, none have criminalized the act making Santa Barbara’s measure the most severe in the U.S.

In response to an effort by New York City to ban straws, the New York Post editorial board published a piece entitled, “Banning plastic straws is more scam than science,” where they explain, “The oft-cited figure that Americans use 500 million plastic straws a day comes from a survey conducted by a 9-year-old.”

The story, and fact checking, about the statistic was the center of an article posted by the New York Times where they shared that more rigorous studies put the number somewhere between 170 million to 390 million. Click here for the NY Times article.

Municipalities around the country are trying to address the issue of plastic and the downstream effects of it on the environment, most are imploring manufacturers to change materials to something biodegradable.

Consumer fervor for more environmentally friendly products places pressure on manufacturers and buyers to find solutions to meet demands. As a result Starbucks, Marriott, and even Delta airlines have announced efforts to shift from plastic straws and stirs.

What do you think about the ban? Please add your comments!

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