Fighting Plastic Waste in 2022

Especially with the rapid increase of delivered meals during the pandemic, Angelenos have been increasingly frustrated with the massive waste of single-use plastic utensils that are included in orders but never used.  Increasingly, the world is awash in such wasted plastic items whose production contributes significantly to climate change, and which end up littering our planet for centuries.

(Councilmember Krekorian announces first stage of “Skip the Stuff” plastics ordinance in November 2021.)

Starting in April 2022, restaurants in Los Angeles will no longer automatically offer customers single-use plastic utensils and condiment packets with their takeout and delivery orders.  Disposable foodware and condiment packets will still be available, but only if the customer requests them. This “Skip the Stuff” ordinance has applied to larger establishments since last November, and in April will apply to all establishments.  

In 2022 the City Council will have the opportunity to  build on this ordinance and other previous actions and further reduce the blight of plastic waste that accumulates in landfills and congests our waterways.  Following a comprehensive report completed last year by L.A. Sanitation, the City Council’s Energy Committee has identified a number of priorities to be achieved by April 2022 (in time for Earth Day), including:

  • Expanding the city’s prohibition on single-use plastic bags

  • Completing an environmental review of banning the use of expanded polystyrene (known as styrofoam), the material most commonly used in takeout food containers and packing material.

  • Initiating an environmental review to study further regulation of single-use plastics, including a possible ban on single-use plastic bottles, and a requirement that establishments with in-person dining  use only reusable foodware.

The full council is expected to vote on the Energy Committee’s proposal early this year