LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday began steps for the city to phase out the purchase and use of single-use plastics in Los Angeles.
Council members voted to have the Bureau of Sanitation work with other city departments on a report, which is expected to be complete by Earth Day, detailing steps to phase out single-use plastic.
The measure was led by Councilmen Mitch O'Farrell, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz, as well as Council President Nury Martinez.
"This is another decisive and progressive step taken by Los Angeles as we lead the way on environmental restoration, and we have set the stage for other municipalities to follow our lead," said O'Farrell, who serves as the chair of the City Council's Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River Committee.
"Today's vote builds on several actions we have already taken — including reducing single-use foodware accessories, plastic straws on request and reducing plastic bags — as well as our ongoing 'LA100' plan to achieve 100% carbon-free energy by 2035."
Councilmen Krekorian and Koretz previously led the charge for an ordinance, which took effect on Nov. 15, to make disposable foodware, including utensils, only available at restaurants when requested by customers. The ordinance initially applies to food and beverage facilities with more than 26 employees and will expand to all on April 22. The ordinance is similar to the city's straws-on-request law that went into effect on April 22, 2019. That law, which was led by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, bans all Los Angeles restaurants from automatically giving customers plastic straws.
"The world is drowning in plastic pollution that is destroying the marine environment and fouling Los Angeles neighborhoods. For decades, the petrochemical industry has enriched itself at the expense of the planet by pushing single-use plastics," Krekorian said Wednesday. "Here in Los Angeles, we've taken many groundbreaking steps to fight this plastic addiction, but the problem cannot be solved by banning one particular item at a time. Today, for the first time, the city is moving forward with a comprehensive plan that will broadly address plastic waste across our economy, starting with our own city operations. Our work here should be a model for the rest of the nation."
The motion also seeks a report from the Department of General Services on deploying portable hydration stations and drinking fountains across the city to reduce plastic water bottles.
"We've been treating the whole planet for decades as a throwaway item," Koretz said. "The reality is there is no `away.' We live on a tiny planet with limited resources and we need to behave as if we fully understand that fact. Today, with this legislation, we begin altering our daily habits toward a truly regenerative society."