Restaurants in Los Angeles are now prohibited from freely passing out disposable items and will only supply things like plastic utensils and paper napkins upon customer request. The ordinance took effect on Monday but will not be enforced until Jan. 1, and it is currently applicable to food and beverage organizations with more than 26 employees. From April 22 on, it will apply to all organizations that serve food and drinks.
Officials said that the goal of the new policy is to reduce plastic waste and costs for businesses, according to The Los Angeles Times. City Councilman Paul Koretz, who was involved in proposing the policy, said in April it could save businesses between $3,000 and $21,000 annually, according to the Times.
Still, some California business owners were unhappy with the change. “The new rules will cost more money than it saves,” Norm Langer, who owns a deli in downtown Los Angeles, told the Times. “It’s not worth the amount of money to save on plastic utensils than it is to have an unhappy customer.”