California Curbs Plastic Straw Use

Governor Jerry Brown Signs AB 1884 into Law, Making California First in the Nation to Enact Statewide Straw Reduction

SACRAMENTO, California – 20 September 2018 -- California took a historic step today as Governor Edmund (Jerry) Brown signed Assembly Bill 1884 into state law. The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), commends Gov. Brown for his decision to sign a bill that marks a major victory for the health of our planet. AB 1884 makes California the first state to limit the wanton distribution of plastic straws, thus avoiding tons of unnecessary plastic thrown out each year by Californians.

The law does not go as far as some California cities, like San Francisco and Santa Barbara, which have banned plastic straws completely. It does, however, require customers who want straws with their drinks to ask for them.

"Plastics, in all forms – straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc. – are choking our planet. It is a very small step to make a customer who wants a plastic straw ask for it. And it might make them pause and think again about an alternative," said Governor Brown. "But one thing is clear, we must find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic products."

"Today is a tremendous example of how great change can begin with small steps. We applaud Gov. Brown for signing a bill that not only steers California towards ecological stewardship, but also helps foster a better global community," said Christopher Chin, COARE's Executive Director. "This law sets a fantastic precedent for future plastic legislation, places utmost importance on preserving our oceans, and continues to express that our society has had enough of irresponsible plastic use."

As a part of the Clean Seas Coalition, COARE has worked with a number of organizations to create and support smart legislation such as the California statewide ban of single-use plastic bags (SB 270), and now, AB 1884. Through its "Enough with the plastic already!" campaign, COARE seeks to reduce the amount of oceanbound waste by helping people become more aware of how their habits affect the world around them. COARE raises public awareness of some very commonly overlooked sources of trash, and encourages people everywhere to examine their choices.

The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, Inc. (COARE) is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its purpose is to study our oceans and increase public awareness of the earth's marine environment through educational programs and outreach. COARE seeks to enlighten people, young and old, to the plight of the oceans, to change the way they think and act, and to encourage them to create positive and lasting change. For more information about COARE, visit


What you can do to help

  • Support "bag-ban", and straw-reduction bills in your state or city;
  • When you order a drink in a restaurant or bar, or you order take-out, tell them you don't want a straw;
  • If you need a straw or like to use a straw, bring your own, and reuse it!