A California lawmaker’s idea of what is and is not a function of the government has faced heavy criticism after he a proposed bill that would greatly affect those in the food industry.
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Majority Leader Ian Calderon sought to address pollution by focusing on plastic — specifically, plastic straws, reports 10 News.
According to Calderon’s bill, a server who offered a plastic straw to a restaurant patron without first being asked would face a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
“We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways and oceans,” Calderon argued in a press release. “AB 1884 is not ban on plastic straws. It is a small step towards curbing our reliance on these convenience products, which will hopefully contribute to a change in consumer attitudes and usage.”
The bill would reportedly only apply to waiters in sit-down restaurants, not bars or fast food establishments. Calderon also expressed his intention to dump the bill’s harsh penalties, according to Reason.
Despite the reasoning, several have criticized the proposed legislation as an example of government overreach.
Some even offered their own suggestions.
I say demand the straws be made out of recyclable materials instead and if they purchase materials that can’t be recycled then that’s where the tax is placed (if we’re talking adding a tax here). I don’t understand why they aren’t already. Everything should be made to be recycled
— Christopher 🌈 Aukerman (@aukermania) January 28, 2018
Others have accused the bill of being inspired by unreliable data on the number of plastic straws the public uses.