California makes people ask for straws, sodas with kid meals
Web Editor:International Daily
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — If you want a straw with your drink or a soda with a kids' meal at a California restaurant, you'll need to ask for them starting next year.
A law signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown makes California the first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws. Another law he approved requires milk or water to be the default drink sold with kids' meals at fast-food and full-service restaurants.
Neither law is an outright ban on straws or sugary drinks in kids' meals. But some Republicans have called the measures government overreach by the heavily Democratic state.
California restaurants that don't comply with the straw law will get two warnings before being fined. Lawmakers changed the legislation to add a $300 annual fine limit. It will apply only to restaurants where customers are waited on by restaurant staff, not fast-food establishments.
Democratic lawmakers who support the policy call it a small step toward reducing ocean pollution.
Brown, who has made environmental issues a signature priority, pointed to the large amount of plastic dumped in oceans every year that can kill whales and fish and contaminate people's food and water supplies.