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Santa Monica Lawmaker's Bill Restricting Plastic Straws Signed Into Law
By Lookout Staff
September 24, 2018 -- A measure co-authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom that prohibits most dine-in restaurants from offering plastic straws unless requested by a customer was signed into law Thursday.
Bloom, a former Santa Monica mayor, has led a crusade to ban plastic products statewide, following the lead of Santa Monica and a handful of other California cities.
The beach city banned plastic bags and polystyrene before the state and will expand it restriction on plastic straws to include plastic plates, trays, cups, and lidded containers.
“Plastic Pollution is a colossal problem made up of many individual parts," Bloom said.
"There is no single solution and every time we pass plastic legislation, we’re putting a bigger dent in this problem.”
More than 500 million single-use plastic straws are used every day in the United States, according to estimates by the National Park Service.
"Scientific research demonstrates that ocean litter, also commonly referred to as 'marine debris' is increasing at an alarming rate," Bloom's office said.
Plastics, many studies have concluded, consistently make up 60 to 80 percent of all marine debris, his staff said.
It is forecast that if plastics are not properly managed, they will outweigh fish pound for pound plastics in the ocean by 2050, Bloom's office said.
One study found that marine plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 species worldwide, including 86 percent of all turtle species, 44 percent of all seabird species and 43 percent of all marine mammal species, his staff said.
"Fish, seabirds, and sea mammals are being injured and killed by plastic pollution," said a statement issued by Bloom's office.
"Floating and migrating plastic debris has been found to travel for thousands of miles."
Said Bloom, “We have an addiction to single use plastics that if left unaddressed will pose an unimaginable threat to our oceans, to the environment, and to human health.
"This bill will help us curb our addiction to single use plastics in a sustainable and business-friendly way. ”
Bloom's 2015 ban on plastic microbead was applied nationwide through federal legislation.
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