They share a warm environment, a cool attitude & they’re both popular among tourists. Now California & Jamaica have something else in common – a shared sensibility to protect the environment.

Over the weekend, California and Jamaica joined the war against plastic by introducing destination-wide bans on certain paraphernalia.

It started with California late last week when the destination became the first in the US to prohibit plastic straws in all restaurants.

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Image: Luke Bender/Unsplash

The state’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that requires full-service restaurants to hold off from passing out plastic straws with drinks unless a customer asks for one, Refinery29.com reported.

Brown said the inconvenience on customers to ask for a straw paled when compared to the damage these single-use plastics are causing to the environment.

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“Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences.”

Jerry Brown, Governor of California

“Plastics, in all forms — straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc. — are choking our planet.”

The new law kicks in on 1 January 2019.

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Image: Dalelan Anderson/Unsplash

A few hours after California took a stand against single-use plastic, Jamaica joined by banning all styrofoam, single-use plastic bags and single-use plastic straws, JamaicaObserver.com reported.

Also commencing 1 January 2019, the ban is part of a plan to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the ocean from the destination, while also encouraging locals to buy reusable items and bags.

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Image: Lakeisha Bennett/Unsplash

A member of Jamaica’s Minister of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, said that in addition to moving towards a ban on single-use plastic, the Caribbean nation is also working with external parties to develop the Plastic Minimisation Project, which aims to reduce plastic-use during land-based activities.

Select people will be exempt from Jamaica’s single-use plastic ban, such as those with a disability that requires them to drink through a plastic straw. Certain foods will also continue to be packaged with styrofoam and plastic bags.

 

What are your thoughts on the bans?