Democrat Michael McCaffrey of Warwick introduced a bill that would prohibit restaurants from providing straws unless a customer asks for one.
McCaffrey said plastic is a problem for many communities in the Ocean State.
"If you drive around the streets,...you see straws on the ground, plastic cups on the ground, things of that nature," he said.
Americans threw away more than 33 million tons of plastic in 2014, and most of it wasn't recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
McCaffrey said the bill could also help improve ocean health.
"We have a lot of marine life that gets damaged because of plastic, and this is a little step toward reducing the pollution of plastic out there," he said.
The state Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture is expected to discuss the bill at a later date.