The city of Santa Barbara just passed an ordinance that could land restaurant employees in jail for up to six months or with a $1,000 fine for giving straws to customers.
According to the National Review, this even includes compostable straws.
It gets even more ridiculous: each straw passed out is considered a violation. So if a waiter gives straws to a table of four, the waiter could potentially be imprisoned for two years or face a $4,000 fine.
The new policy triggered mockery on Twitter:
Ahhhh, California. Where you can legally inject yourself with heroin at an approved facility, but you get jail time for giving someone a plastic straw. https://t.co/pHX2EIDciX
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) July 25, 2018
When you get more time in prison in California for handing out straws than you do for giving someone AIDS or shooting an innocent bystander on a boardwalk with an illegally possessed firearm. https://t.co/CefUZLdNCi
— Andrew J. Amarone (@andrew_amarone) July 25, 2018
What the hell??? https://t.co/HwBMDjzZgk
— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) July 25, 2018
UNREAL. THIS ALSO BANS compostable straws. BECAUSE REASONS????
"Oh, and each individual straw counts as a separate infraction, meaning that if someone got busted handing out straws to a table of four people, he or she could end up facing years behind bars" https://t.co/BeIwCj1utj
— Shoshana Weissmann, Sloth Committee Chair (@senatorshoshana) July 25, 2018
Santa Barbara is not the first city to ban plastic straws. According to Reason, Seattle imposed a ban in July and there are several cities including New York, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, trying to also ban them.
San Francisco’s board of supervisors is also pushing to make straws prohibited; they passed an ordinance on Tuesday and will be voting on the second reading next week.
Starbucks, in an attempt to appear environmentally friendly, also recently announced they would be giving up straws for nitro lids, which hilariously backfired due to nitro lids being composed of more plastic than the current lids and straws that Starbucks uses’