What’s the Story?
Beginning January 1, 2019, the state of California implemented Assembly Bill 1884, which bans full-service, dine-in restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws to customers unless they are requested by the customer. It’s commonly referred to as a “straws upon request” rule. Enforcement of the new ban begins July 1, 2019.
How Does the Ban Affect Me?
Under the statewide ban (AB 1884), if patrons of your restaurant dine in and do not serve themselves (i.e., food and drinks are brought to the customer by employees), then the ban applies to you. If your dine-in restaurant supplies straws that are made of a sustainable alternative—like wheat, stainless steel, paper, or bamboo—then you’re good to go: you don’t need to change anything.
Restaurants caught giving out single-use plastic straws without being asked could face fines of up to $300. The first and second violations will result in a written warning, and any violations after will draw $25 fines for each day the restaurant does not comply, not exceeding $300 per year.
Though Assembly Bill 1884 is a statewide ban in California, there are many cities that have adopted their own rules about single-use plastics, and some are stricter than the California ban. The table below shows a comparison of each city’s rules for plastic straws:
How Can I Stay Compliant?
Unless otherwise prohibited by one of the city-specific bans, California restaurants can continue serving straws automatically to each customer if they’re made of an alternative that’s either reusable or compostable. Wheat straws are among the most natural and affordable alternatives that offer an experience similar to single-use plastic.
If you choose to continue stocking single-use plastic straws, then complying with AB 1884 is about getting used to a new procedure. You’ll need to prepare your staff members to break the habit of handing out plastic straws to every customer. Even offering one is a violation—under AB 1884, the customer must be the one to ask for the straw.
Why Are HAY! Straws a Great Choice?