As of October 1, all Los Angeles restaurants will offer straws by request only. This is the second part of a city ordinance that began in April. The first part only applied to businesses with more than 26 employees, now it encompasses all businesses.
In March, 2019 the city council voted to prevent restaurant from offering straws unless a customer requested one. This is part of a nation wide effort to reduce single use plastics. The ban applies to both dine-in and takeout customers and includes straws that are not biodegradable.
California is both a coastal area and at the forefront of wide reaching environmental legislation. The ban in Los Angeles follows other single use plastic bans in San Francisco. The state banned straws at dine-in restaurants, and San Francisco and Malibu have completely banned straws.
This ban is unique and wider reaching in that it also applies to fast food restaurants.
The City Council of Los Angeles made the move to reduce pollution. “As a coastal community, we have a heightened responsibility to remove as much single-use plastic from the waste stream as possible. Restaurants across the city are already switching to alternatives that are biodegradable while more Angelenos are using reusable straws and by extension participating in helping to clean our environment,” says Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.
Straws are a known environmental issue. The bill noted that 500 million disposable straws are used each day in the United States alone. Straws are ubiquitous in trash and are also one of the most popular items found in beach clean up days in California. Straws contribute to marine pollution and microplastics.
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