A new “zero waste” policy in Los Angeles could see the city go plastic-free in the near future.
L.A. city officials say it’s time to lead by example and continue phasing out plastic items and products that are wasteful and detrimental to the environment.
This includes utensils, polystyrene or styrofoam food containers, plastic water bottles, cups, straws and bags.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a handful of measures to tighten restrictions on these items.
The city government already is policing itself with the use of alternatives to plastic products. These future ordinances will apply to the general public and businesses.
“We’re moving forward in trying to address the larger problem of plastic pollution and litter from single-use items,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian.
Krekorian says more than 100 cities in California have already adopted similar restrictions and measures.
He also noted an existing ordinance which bans restaurants from automatically handing out plastic utensils.
“Restaurants felt that they had to provide these things for pick-up meals, even though they knew that their customers weren’t using the vast majority of them, because they were taking their meals home,” Krekorian said.
Alternative materials include biodegradable or compostable items, paper or recyclable items, many of which are already in use.
Many residents in Los Angeles told KTLA that they were in favor of the new policies and said the changes likely wouldn’t have much of an impact in their day-to-day lives.
“I think we can all do a little bit and it will go a long way,” one person said.
City officials say it’s a win-win all around and will be cost-effective and good for the environment.