Los Angeles is the latest California city looking at passing a straws-on-request law. There’s a state law proposed too. What this means is restaurants and other food joints may hand over a plastic straw only to customers who ask for one.
Before you groan and say, “what a silly and meaningless law,” consider how often plastic straws have been foisted upon you just in the last week. Fast food places stick a straw in drinks as a matter of course. In recent years, even sit-down restaurants have taken to sticking a straw in water glasses before delivering them to customers. Happens to me all the time.
Having to ask for a straw puts the onus back on the customer, who may indeed need and want one. But it comes with a subtle but potent message about the environmental cost involved. (Just check out this distressing video of a plastic straw being extracted from the nose of a sea turtle for a clue.)