LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Restaurants in the city of Los Angeles will soon only give out disposable utensils, such as plastic forks, by request, under a new ordinance unanimously approved by the L.A. City Council Wednesday.
The ordinance will make disposable foodware, including utensils and napkins, only available at restaurants when requested by customers.
The ordinance, which still requires Mayor Eric Garcetti’s signature to become law, will go into effect for food and beverage facilities with more than 26 employees on Nov. 15, 2021, 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 Styrofoam.
The ordinance would prohibit facilities from having self-service disposable foodware dispensers and from providing or offering disposable foodware accessories to dine-in customers and take-out customers, except when requested.
Facilities that violate the ordinance would be subject to a written notice for the first and second violation, followed by a $25 fine for each subsequent violation. A facility’s collective fines would not exceed $300 per calendar year.
The law is similar to one which L.A. passed in March of 2019 which bans restaurants from giving out disposable plastic straws unless specifically requested by customers.
A report from the International Waste Association estimated that the amount of wasted single-use foodware and accessory items has increased about 250% to 300% during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people pick up food and dine at home.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)