In celebration of Earth Month, the Alhambra City Council approved an ‘opt-in’ ordinance for plastic utensils that will help fight environmental waste and reduce supply cost for mom-and-pop restaurants.
By News Desk
The unanimously-approved ordinance, put forth by Mayor Sasha Renée Pérez, requires restaurants to withhold plastic utensils from takeout orders unless specifically requested by patrons.
Mayor Pérez said:
This common-sense ordinance will help our local restaurants save money while reducing the amount of plastic waste in our community. I’m proud of Alhambra for being the first city in Los Angeles County to pass an ordinance like this. The success of online groups like ‘SGV Eats’ has shown us that supporting our local restaurants is part of our region’s identity.
Many local restaurant owners and environmental advocates have praised the ordinance for both its sustainability and cost saving qualities.
“This ordinance helps facilitate customer choice, eliminates customer inconvenience, frustration, and backlash towards employees when customers are not offered – or provided – the expected accessories to safely consume their meal” says David Juarez, a representative of the California Restaurant Association. Mr. Juarez also confirmed that the City of Alhambra is the first city in Los Angeles County to pass such an ordinance.
San Gabriel Valley based environmental advocacy group ActiveSGV expressed their support for the local initiative in a statement from Special Programs Director Wesley Reutimann: “Alhambra’s adoption of a “Skip the Stuff” policy is a simple, effective step to reduce the growing tide of non-recyclable, single-use plastic. Most disposable utensils and condiments go unused because restaurants automatically include them in takeout orders, which overwhelmingly are delivered to people’s homes where customers do not need them. ActiveSGV applauds the Council’s leadership on this significant waste issue during Earth Month 2021.”
Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to amend the Plastic Straws-on-Request Ordinance to include disposable foodware accessories. The ordinance was also dubbed #SkiptheStuff. Similar ordinance have been drafted in Los Angeles County and Pasadena as well.
[This article has been updated to include more cities passing similar ordinances, April 21, 2021, 6:24 pm]
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