California becomes the first state to restrict plastic straws at restaurants

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the nation’s first state law barring dine-in restaurants from giving customers plastic straws unless they are requested, saying discarded plastic is “choking our planet.”

Brown cited the damage that discarded plastic has done to marine life and its threat to human health.

“Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation with single-user convenience has led to disastrous consequences,” Brown wrote in a signing message.

The governor said plastic in the oceans is estimated to kill millions of marine animals each year, and he noted that when a dead pilot whale washed up on a beach in Thailand recently, 80 plastic bags were found in its stomach that prevented the digestion of food.

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