Rep. Devin Nunes of California appeared to associate his state’s ban on plastic straws to socialism in a tweet Saturday after visiting a nearby restaurant.
“At restaurant tonight waitress asks if we want straws,” the Republican told his Twitter followers. “Says she has to ask now in fear of ‘THE STRAW POLICE.’ Welcome to Socialism in California!”
California passed a law in 2018 making the state the country’s first to ban full-service restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless a customer asks for one.
Restaurants that don’t comply can be fined up to $300 per year. Fast food establishments are exempt from the mandate. Conservatives argue such laws reek of government overreach, while Democrats consider plastic straw bans a move in the right direction.
Several cities have already banned the products. San Francisco, for instance, voted unanimously in July 2018 to nix all plastic straws. The city ordinance includes fines for violators ranging from $100 to $500. San Francisco follows Seattle in becoming the latest major U.S. city to ban plastic straws and utensils.
Major U.S. companies also joined the movement to stop handing out straws. Starbucks announced in 2018 that it is phasing out plastic straws from its coffee chains within the next two years. The Walt Disney Company has also revealed plans to eradicate straws from its property by mid-2019.
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