Consumer Protection Advocate Mike Bannon checked in on UpWords With Chris Ermer Tuesday to discuss a variety of issues, including California’s ban on plastic straws and its local implications.

Seattle, Washington became the first major city to ban plastic straws fines offending businesses $250 for each plastic straw, without greater punishment for multiple violations. However, under the new law in California, sit-down restaurants serving plastic straws with drinks without the request of a customer would face fines on the first offense, and even possible jail time on subsequent offenses.

“I do think it’s something we’re going to see in the near future is the elimination of these kinds of things like plastics straws,” Bannon said. “But I don’t know of any local places that have it.”

Plastics in general have come up in policy debates, as with plastic bags, but straws have become a specific nuisance for Bannon.

“They’re like canned poptops, you used to peel the top off of them,” Bannon stated. “You’d see those poptops all over the highway and on the roads, they’d be all over the place. That’s what’s happened with straws unfortunately.”

Bannon also made a bold prediction on the national stage.

“I believe in general we’re going to see a big push back against plastics,” Bannon said. “Not just straws, but all plastics.”

Plastics also have international implications, as the United States ships its plastics over to China for recycling. China announced last year its refusal to take in trash and recycling from other countries.

“They have environmental concerns too. As they stop taking it we’re going to get stuck with plastic we’ve never had before,” Bannon warned. “I think we’re going to see more recycling in the United States, but I also think we’re going to have to reduce our production of plastics.”

Catch more Consumer Protection Tips to be informed on all the latest consumer info on UpWords with Chris Ermer Tuesdays at 1 right here on WBCB 1490