A Los Angeles city councilman proposed Tuesday that the city draw up an ordinance under which restaurant patrons would only be provided plastic utensils on request.
His motion would work in conjunction with a pending "straws-on-request" ordinance in an effort to curb the impact that plastic utensils are having on the environment and the aesthetic quality of local communities, Councilman Bob Blumenfield said.
"Now more than ever, Los Angeles needs to lead strong environmental efforts and I believe that as the second-largest city in the nation, we can make a big ecological difference by thinking twice about how much we need wasteful plastics, such as utensils," Blumenfield said. "Many people have that special drawer in the kitchen packed to the brim with extra forks and knives from takeout or delivery, and I believe it is sensible to ask consumers if they really need more."
Other cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, have passed full plastic straw bans, and companies like Starbucks, American Airlines, Hyatt and the Walt Disney Co. have also announced efforts to stop offering plastic straws.
"We need to do everything we can to stop the onslaught of plastic flowing into our oceans, and that starts with each of us making smarter decisions," Blumenfield said. "Much like when we reduced the use of single use plastic bags, we can make it clear to businesses large and small that the days of unnecessary plastic utensils are over."
If the motion is approved by the full council, the Bureau of Sanitation would be instructed to report back in 60 days on the feasibility of implementing a plastic utensils-on-request ordinance which would require restaurants, and other food service providers, to provide plastic utensils only when a customer requests them.