LA Bans Restaurants From Offering Plastic Utensils and Napkins

LOS ANGELES—The City of Los Angeles’ ordinance banning restaurants from offering disposable utensils and napkins to customers took effect Nov. 15.

The ordinance prohibits facilities from having self-service disposable foodware dispensers and from offering them to dine-in and take-out customers, except when requested.

The city council approved the ordinance in April with the aim of alleviating costs for restaurants and reducing plastic waste; however, some restaurant owners say laws like these are harmful and take time to comply with.

“These people never run a business. When pollution over masks, face shields, gloves are extremely high, I don’t understand why still these kinds of ordinances are on table,” Roozbeh Farahanipour, West Los Angeles chamber of commerce president and restaurant owner, told The Epoch Times.

“It’s killed understaffed, small mom and pop restaurants instead of helping them, plus adding response and fixing time with customer compliance.”

LA city council members celebrated the ordinance’s implementation, hoping it will stop the distribution of plasticware to consumers.

“This is another critical step forward for our movement to phase out single-use plastics,” LA Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said. “This ordinance helps both the environment and our economy. By focusing on education and changing people’s behavior, we can achieve sustainable success in the long run. We’re also helping small businesses, who spend billions of dollars a year on disposable products.”

Facilities that violate the ordinance would be subject to a written notice for the first and second violations, followed by a $25 fine for each subsequent violation. A facility’s collective fines would not exceed $300 per calendar year.

The ordinance applies to all food and beverage facilities in the city with more than 26 employees. It will expand to all food and beverage facilities on April 22, 2022.

The ordinance is similar to the city’s straws-on-request law that went into effect on April 22, 2019, which bans all Los Angeles restaurants from automatically giving customers plastic straws.

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City News Service contributed to this report.

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By Nick R. Hamilton

Nick has a broad background in journalism, business, and technology. He covers news on cryptocurrency, traditional assets, and economic markets.

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