June 18, 2018
The Honorable Bob Wieckowski
Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Quality
State Capitol, Room 2205
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1884 (Calderon) Food Facilities: Single Use Plastic Straws
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Wieckowski,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports proposed legislation AB 1884 (Calderon) to require dine-in only restaurants to have a straws-upon-request policy.
While straws are recyclable, it’s difficult to do so because of their size and weight. As a result, a large amount of them end up in our oceans in large numbers and wreak havoc on ocean wildlife. “An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate.”1
Nearly all the plastic that enters our waterways will degrade into microplastics that then make their way into the human food chain through the fish that we eat and the water that we drink. While the exact health risks associated with the consumption of microplastics is unknown, pediatricians know that a safe and healthy environment is a basic foundation of child health.2
AB 1884 (Calderon) seeks to limit the number of single-use plastic passed out by California dine-in only restaurants. Straws would still be available to those that need or want them, but would no longer be distributed by default. Reducing the number of straws distributed will reduce the amount of pollution in our oceans, taking a step toward protecting the environment for our children and beyond.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support proposed legislation AB 1884 (Calderon) and urge you to vote AYE. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Quality
Honorable Ian Calderon
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne