Law Limiting Plastic Straw Use in LA Goes Into Effect on Earth Day

A "plastic straws on request" ordinance becomes law on Earth Day in Los Angeles, as part of the city's effort to reduce plastic waste.

Starting Monday, restaurants with more than 26 employees, including drive-thrus, will have to comply with a rule of offering customers a plastic straw only if they ask for one. Last month, the LA City Council approved the ordinance, which expands a statewide law that applies only to sit-down restaurants.

This ordinance was sparked by an LA Times editorial which stated that Americans waste up to 500 million plastic straws per day, which can end up in our beaches and waterways.

"Although straws are a small part of the eight million metric tons of plastic that end up in our ocean every year, we know that it is one we can have really great control over, both on a personal choice, and to effectuate a policy that will help highlight the plight of our world's oceans and the danger and the threat on the environment of plastic straw waste,'' said Councilman Mitch O'Farrell -- one of the proposal's backers.

In an effort to reduce the amount of littering, the state of California and the city of Los Angeles have already adopted the policy of single-use plastic straws, but the LA City Council is going a step further by making it law and expanding it to all fast food restaurants.

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