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Climate and Environment

Plastic Utensils In Your Takeout Order Could Soon Be Gone

HTNLA: SILENT CITY
Grand Central Market: Many of downtown restaurants were closed, and those that remain open were take-out only. People were social distancing as required, and security guards at the entrances limited the number of people inside.
(Chava Sanchez
/
LAist)
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If you're picking up takeout in the city of L.A. you may not be getting plastic forks, paper napkins or slew of other disposable items — unless you ask for them. Thank — or blame — a motion passed by the L.A. City Council yesterday aimed at reducing plastic waste and saving restaurants money.

If Mayor Eric Garcetti signs the ordinance, it will go into effect this November for restaurants and stores with more than 26 employees. And everyone selling food will have to follow the rule by next April.

Graham Hamilton calls it a small step in the right direction. He's the L.A. manager for the Surfrider Foundation, which advocates for cleaner oceans. But Hamilton says even more needs to be done.

"We know that plastic pollutes at every point in its lifecycle. As a fossil fuel byproduct it pollutes when it's being extracted from the ground. It pollutes during the manufacturing process, during the transportation process, and obviously during the consumer/disposal process."
— Graham Hamilton
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Hamilton says about 22 billion lbs. of plastic end up in the ocean each year — give or take a few billion.

The real challenge? He says it's moving away from our reliance on so many disposable products.

What's On The List

Page 20 of LA City Disposables Ordinance
Contributed to DocumentCloud by KPCC Documents (Southern California Public Radio) • View document or read text
Page 21 of LA City Disposables Ordinance
Contributed to DocumentCloud by KPCC Documents (Southern California Public Radio) • View document or read text
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