Article from Reason by Christian Britschgi.

Santa Barbara has become the latest city to crack down on plastic straws, enacting what is likely the most severe prohibition in the country. The law authorizes hefty fines and jail sentences for violators.

On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council unanimously passed a bill that prohibits restaurants, bars, and other food service businesses from handing out plastic straws to their customers. Plastic stirrers and utensils could still be legally provided, but only if customers request them.

That a municipality would ban plastic straws is sadly unsurprising in the year 2018, when seemingly every city, celebrity, corporation, and cute kid with a nonprofit wants to eliminate the little suckers from polite society. Yet Santa Barbara’s ban is notably rigid and punitive.

When Seattle became the first major city in the United States to ban plastic straws in September 2017, it carved out an exemption for compostable plastic straws and made any violation an infraction punishable by a $250 fine. Santa Barbara, by contrast, has banned even compostable straws, permitting only drinking tubes made from nonplastic materials such as paper, metal, or bamboo. The city also has made any violation of its straw prohibition both an administrative infraction carrying a $100 fine and a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Each contraband straw or unsolicited plastic stirrer counts as a separate violation, so fines and jail time could stack up quickly.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons