In April 2021, Los Angeles City Councilmembers voted unanimously in favor of amending the Plastic Straws-on-Request Ordinance to include disposable
foodware accessories and Mayor Garcetti signed it into law in May 2021. The updated ordinance, also known as #SkiptheStuff, now requires foodware accessories, including single-use utensils, straws, condiments, and napkins, to be available only upon request from food vendors and third-party delivery apps. Big thanks to everyone in the Reusable LA coalition for helping to make this possible!
In the U.S., billions of unused foodware accessories including utensils, straws, and condiment packets are tossed away annually. This “zero-use” trash clogs landfills, pollutes our streets and waterways, and adds to the global glut of non-recyclable plastic production.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased reliance on food delivery and takeout and thereby increased the use of single-use items. In light of pandemic mandates, restaurants are depending on to-go and delivery options to survive, and the amount of single-use foodware and accessory items wasted has skyrocketed by approximately 250-300%, according to an estimate by the International Waste Association.
Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles and South Bay Chapters drafted a motion with coalition partners at Reusable LA to establish a foodware upon-request ordinance throughout the City of Los Angeles. The motion was advanced by Councilmember Paul Koretz on January 13th and seconded by Councilmember Mike Bonin. The motion must now be heard in the Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee before moving on to a full Council vote.