A new law banning all restaurants from automatically giving customers plastic straws goes into effect today in the city of Los Angeles. The start of the law was intended to coincide with Earth Day. It affects restaurants with 26 employees or more and will impact all restaurants by October 1st. The council in December also directed the Bureau of Sanitation to report back regarding the feasibility of phasing out single-use plastic straws by 20-21 (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

El Segundo restaurants will soon only be able to serve plastic food and drink-ware if customers ask for it.

The city became the last on the South Bay coast to introduce adoption of an “upon request” policy for plastic straws, utensils and hot beverage stirrers, when Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Dec. 17 to restrict the tableware waste.

Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and Long Beach already have anti-plastic laws in place for eateries.

El Segundo will bring the ordinance back to Council for adoption Jan. 21. Plastic hot beverage lids and plugs are aren’t listed as utensils on the ordinance and will be exempt from the prohibition, said city attorney Mark Hensley.

“It’s a start; progress,” Mayor Drew Boyles said.

Members of the city's Environmental Committee urged the Council to take a path identical to the three beach cities, banning polystyrene (styrofoam) products and other harmful, non-degradable materials.

"This is only a baby step," said Tracey Miller-Zarneke, chairwoman of the El Segundo Environmental Committee. We hoped we might get more 'bang' with the ordinance, she said on behalf of the committee, but we are grateful it's on the right path.

Miller-Zarneke added she hopes Council will allow the committee to help educate the community about the affordability and ease of going plastic-free.

"As a beach community, I'd love to see more done because inland communities aren't going to make these changes until we start taking leadership in it," said Corrie Zupo, vice chair of the environmental committee. Every time it rains, she added, trash from inland cities comes to the beach.

Food and drink-serving businesses will have three months from the effective date to comply with the law. They can apply for hardship extensions if 90 days isn’t enough time to modify their plastic consumer products and notify patrons of the policy.

Load comments