Beginning today, all Los Angeles restaurants will be required to withhold plastic straws unless asked for one.
You may remember a ban back in April that required businesses with more than 26 employees to limit the availability of single-use straws. Well now, that same law applies to restaurants of all sizes.
The plastic straw ban was first introduced last year by L.A. councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Nury Martinez. That law passed in March with hopes to help reduce the city’s role in the estimated 500 million plastic straws used by Americans, every day. The initiative is an attempt to keep single-use plastic waste from littering our beaches and waterways.
Unlike Malibu, the city of Los Angeles isn’t completely plastic-free just yet; dine-in and take out customers can request a plastic straw. Restaurants can decide on what they wish to distribute to customers in lieu of plastic with alternatives like paper, metal, glass, and bamboo.
Though it may seem annoying to have to ask for a straw at the drive-through window, if the world doesn’t start tightening the reigns on the use of single-use plastic overall, it’s estimated that the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by the year 2025. Although plastic straws are a small part of the 8 billion metric tons of plastic which ends up in the ocean every year, enforcing a law to help to eliminate even a small contribution to ocean waste is a huge step towards changing the national conversation about plastic!
Also published on Medium.