Say goodbye to single-use plastics in parts of Los Angeles County.

Take-out containers, cups, plates and cutlery delivered with take-out food at restaurants in unincorporated areas of the county will now have to be recyclable or biodegradable.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the measure in April 2022 in the fight against plastic pollution.

He works with toy companies to develop new ideas, such as three-dimensional cardboard superheroes that children can build or board games with recycled or plant-based play pieces. Already in the United Kingdom and Ireland, McDonald’s restaurants only offer stuffed animals, paper toys or books. Burger King removed plastic toys from children’s meals in the UK in 2019.

The council cites that 85% of single-use plastic items in California are never recycled, and of the nearly 30 million tons of waste Los Angeles County produces each year, plastic is a significant contributor.

The county also cites the potential health risks of microplastics entering the environment and, in turn, the water and food we consume. Research on microplastics and their effects on the human body is still in its infancy.

The motion seeks to ensure that full-service restaurants have reusable food service utensils for people dining out, such as traditional cutlery.

The plan also includes phasing out polystyrene or polystyrene products such as coolers, wraps and peanuts, as well as pool toys.

When does the Los Angeles County single-use plastic ban begin?

Restaurants and catering businesses had to start complying on May 1. The goal is to phase out single-use plastics, so that doesn’t mean county officials are going to police canteens on day one.

“Food facilities operating from a permanent location will have one year to comply, food trucks will have eighteen months to comply, and temporary food providers, such as farmers’ markets or event organizers community events, will be two years old,” the county said. .

Can I still get forks, straws, and plastic take-out containers in Los Angeles County?

Single-use plastics should not be sold. Biodegradable or recyclable items must be exchanged.

Are there any establishments exempt from the ban on single-use plastics?

Street vendors are exempt. Catering businesses that demonstrate the ban is causing financial hardship can apply for a waiver to become exempt.

What happens if restaurants do not comply with the ban?

Restaurants and food establishments are expected to comply, but the county will not investigate unless complaints are filed. The county plans to work to educate business owners about single-use plastics.

After one year, the county will reassess whether further action is needed. As a last resort, the county says it can issue fines “up to $100 per day per violation to a maximum of $1,000 per year.”

This story first appeared on Telemundo 52’s sister station NBCLA. Click on here to read this story in English.

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