New restrictions could see LA go plastic-free

A new “zero waste” policy in Los Angeles could see the city go plastic-free in the near future.

City of Los Angeles officials say it’s time to lead by example and continue to phase out plastic items and products that waste and harm 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 such items.

The city government is already monitoring itself with the use of alternatives to plastic products. These future orders will apply to the general public and businesses.

“We are moving forward trying to address the larger issue of plastic pollution and litter from single-use items,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said.

Krekorian says more than 100 cities in California have already passed similar restrictions and measures.

He also noted an existing ordinance that prohibits restaurants from automatically dispensing plastic utensils.

“Restaurants felt they had to provide these things for take-out meals, even though they knew their customers weren’t using the vast majority of them because they took their meals home,” Krekorian said.

Alternative materials include biodegradable or compostable items, paper or recyclable items, many of which are already in use.

Many Los Angeles residents told KTLA they were supportive of the new policies and said the changes were unlikely to have much of an impact on their daily lives.

“I think we can all do a little and it will go a long way,” one person said.

City officials say it’s a win-win for everyone, will be cost effective and good for the environment.

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