Straws Upon Request

Story by Sabrina Picou Photos by Alyssa Vega

Fengze Yang, fine arts major, stops by at the school's coffee stand for an ice coffee.

Over the summer a new fad of not using straws has emerged likely in result of the bill in California that was introduced back in January. Assembly man Ian Calderon, introduced the bill (AB1884) also known as Straws Upon Request. This will impact sit-down restaurants only and will limit straws from being handed out by default by encouraging servers to only provide straws if requested by the customer.

The majority leader of California’s lower house has made it clear via his Twitter account that the bill is not a ban, but rather a way to encourage the state to care for the environment and avoid polluting the landfills and oceans.

Currently, the bill indicates that if servers do not comply with the possible new legislation there can be several consequences. These can include possible jail time up to six months, up to a $1,000 dollar fine, and misdemeanor penalties. The repercussions of not abiding by the bill once it becomes law will depend on different amendments. Calderon has stated that these consequences will not be included in the final version of AB1884.

Long Beach City College political science major, Christopher Lavery, is in favor of the new bill because he is not a regular straw user. “I personally don’t use straws, if they [servers] give me a straw I’m not gonna use it. When I do use straws it’s usually my own and it is reusable,” Lavery said.

Long Beach City College Political Science major, Christopher Lavery, shares his opinion for the new California bill, Straws Upon Request. “I rarely use straws,” Lavery said.

Newly introduced this semester Starbucks is now being served at the coffee cart inside the school cafeteria. Fine arts major, Fengze Yang, shared her thoughts on the straw movement while grabbing an iced coffee. “I think now they [people] just take straws but they don’t know how bad straws are bad in effecting the environment. At first I didn’t know bad straws were until I saw a video of a turtle that had a straw stuck in his body and there were animal protections helping him to remove the straws,” Yang said.

For some the issue of straws is not an environmental issue but a personal cleanliness preference. Harry Weiss, student at LBCC, comments on the lack of cleanliness of straws. “It’s just kind of a waste of plastic it is everywhere, it is kind of gross. When I generally see straws in restaurants I get grossed out because I always see it littered everywhere,” Weiss said.

The bill passed in the Senate on Monday, Aug., 20 and will only impact sit down restaurants as it is currently written.