Stop Choking the Oceans With Plastic Straws

Target: Jot Condie, President and CEO of the California Restaurant Association

Goal: Prohibit California restaurants from providing customers with plastic straws unless requested.

The U.S. consumes and disposes of 500 million straws on a daily basis. That is enough to fill over 127 school buses each day. While plastic straws may not seem as big of a problem as plastic water bottles or plastic bags, they still damage our environment. Plastic straws do not biodegrade; they are broken down into smaller and smaller pieces, often making their way into marine animals’ stomachs. In addition, they litter our coastlines and overflow our landfill with unnecessary garbage.

This week, California legislator Ian Calderon is proposing a law that would prohibit restaurants in California from providing plastic straws unless a customer asks for one. Several counties and cities in Southern California, including Huntington Beach, Encinitas,  and San Diego have already taken measures against the use of plastic straws. In cities like Santa Cruz and Berkeley, similar straws-upon-request movements are gaining momentum. Berkeley is even encouraging juice shops and restaurants to offer alternatives such as paper or bamboo straws.

However, the California Restaurant Association has NOT given its full support and is waiting until the bill is finalized to reveal their position.

The Association has considerable influence and power when it comes to political action regarding the restaurant industry. This bill would not directly ban plastic straws, but it will reduce consumption by preventing restaurants from providing straws unless a customer asks for it. If we make no plastic straws the default option at restaurants and other establishments, then we are changing a tiny behavior that can have huge impacts on a national and international scale, starting in California restaurants. Help California lead the movement and sign the petition below to demand the Association’s full support of the bill.


Dear Mr. Condie,

Plastic straws in restaurants contribute to the staggering 500 million straws used and thrown away by Americans each day. This is extremely problematic as straws do not biodegrade; they only break down into smaller pieces to pollute our waterways, harm marine life, and litter our beautiful coastlines. California Assemblyman Ian Calderon is proposing a bill to prohibit dine-in restaurants from providing straws unless a customer requests it.

In most cases, plastic straws are only used for convenience, which means we can change this habit. We have a chance to encourage restaurants and customers to use cost-saving alternatives to plastic straws. As the leader of the California Restaurant Association, you have influence over restaurant owners and workers’ attitudes, and over the restaurant industry’s policies.  I urge you to issue a public statement supporting Ian Calderon and the proposed straws-upon-request bill for California.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eco Straws

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  1. Gen Agustsson says:

    stop it! this restaurant association has to go vegan.

  2. Who the hell needs a straw? Use your mouth, you idiots.

  3. Rita McNany says:

    It is not the straw causing issues. It is the many many people who do not recycle and do not dispose of plastic, cans etc. Take your garbage home! Stop destroying the oceans!

    • Mariz Bartley Mariz Bartley says:

      I agree, so much of the plastics in our oceans/landfills can be recycled, but most straws are made up of different plastics that are difficult to recycle, so they are just thrown away. Even if they are recyclable, many establishments don’t bother to separate them from the rest of the garbage in their bins. Maybe in the future, we’ll have different types of plastic recycling bins available in public spaces?

  4. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & shared❗️😢

  5. All is up to us consumers! No demand, no need to produce!

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