Restaurants in Los Angeles no longer will freely distribute plastic utensils and napkins and will offer the disposable items only to customers who ask for them.
Under the new ordinance, which took effect Monday for restaurants with more than 26 employees, all single-use plastic utensil dispensers will be removed. Businesses also will stop including plastic utensils and napkins with takeout orders or for dine-in meals unless a customer specifically asks for them.
The new rules are meant to reduce waste and costs for businesses. Over 32,000 mailers were sent out earlier this year to update restaurants on the new rules. The letters were printed in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and English, according to Tom Waldman, a spokesperson for Paul Krekorian, one of the City Council members who proposed the ordinance.
Councilman Paul Koretz, who joined Krekorian in the proposal, said the switch to providing plastic utensils only on demand has saved businesses from $3,000 to $21,000 a year, according to figures his office cited when the ordinance was introduced to the City Council in April.
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