People who violate plastic straw ban could face jail time in California city

People who violate plastic straw ban could face jail time in California city
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Those who violate the plastic straw ban in Santa Barbara, Calif., could reportedly face jail time.

Under the terms of an ordinance the coastal city passed earlier this month, people could face hefty fines and possibly a jail sentence for distributing plastic straws at food establishments, Fox News reports.

According to the ordinance obtained by the news outlet, people who violate the legislation will be given a written warning on their first offense.

But if a person were to defy the ban a second time, he or she could face a “fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months,” the ordinance states, citing penalties from the city’s municipal code.

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Assistant City Attorney Scott Vincent told Reason.com that the city would only pursue criminal charges against a violator after repeat offenses and in a case where there are aggravating circumstances. 

The Santa Barbara ordinance reportedly requires a second approval before going into effect in 2019. It arrives at a time that other municipalities have also made the decision to eliminate the use of plastic straws.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a measure to block city stores, restaurants and bars from selling or providing plastic straws, bringing the city closer to banning the single-use plastic products.

Seattle was the first major city to ban plastic straws and utensils in July. 

Several major chains and restaurants, including Starbucks, The Walt Disney Co. and McDonald’s have also announced that they will ban plastic straws. 

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May also announced a nationwide ban on the products in an effort to eliminate plastic waste by 2042.