Los Angeles to Crack Down on Disposable Napkins, Utensils in Restaurants

Plastic utensils are seen September 19, 2016, in Washington, DC. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles is set to limit the usage of disposable napkins and utensils in restaurants as part of an effort to decrease plastic waste and keep a few extra dollars in the pockets of businesses that have been hurting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The ordinance is subject to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s approval and would go into effect for food and beverage facilities with more than 26 employees on Nov. 15, and for all food and beverage facilities on April 22, 2022. Garcetti voiced his support for the ordinance during his State of the City address on Monday. He also called for a citywide ban on plastic foam. The ordinance would prohibit self-service disposable foodware dispensers and prohibit providing or offering disposable foodware accessories to dine-in and takeout customers, except when requested.

Restaurants that break the ordinance could receive up to two written notices before being hit with a $25 fine for future violations.

The motion to request the ordinance was introduced by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Paul Krekorian on Jan. 13.

The ordinance is an “easy, common sense requirement that we hope will help restaurants save money, help the city save money from unnecessary trash cleanups in our neighborhoods, and help stop piling unused stuff in our already teeming landfills,” Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian said in a statement.

“This motion represents a small but critical step in the city’s effort to confront the nexus of plastic pollution, public health, and climate justice,” Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles Manager Graham Hamilton said.

In 2019, Los Angeles enacted an ordinance barring restaurants from providing plastic straws without request.

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