Reduction of Waste from Single-Use Articles and
Expanded Polystyrene Products Ordinance

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the other negative impacts of single-use plastics?

  • Microplastics can be found in nearly all aspects of the natural environment including the air we breathe, the animals we consume, and the water we drink. Exposure to microplastics and associated chemicals have raised concerns about a range of potential health impacts including cancer, birth defects and impaired immune systems.
  • Disadvantaged communities shoulder most of the negative health impacts associated with single-use plastics at every stage of the supply chain. Oil refineries, plastic manufacturers, landfills, and incinerators are often located in low-income communities of color and expose residents to high levels of harmful toxins.
  • Single-use plastic pollution is also disruptive to the natural environment, especially aquatic ecosystems. Littered plastic eventually finds its way into rivers, lakes, and oceans through storm drains and rain runoff. Half of the waste collected during river and beach cleanups in California is plastic debris, where the second most littered product on beaches was found to be foodware.

What should I do if I receive single use foodware accessories that I did not request or give consent to receive with my food order?

You may return them. The next time you place an order with that same food facility, remember to decline or specifically request to leave out single use foodware accessories when dining at home or at the office using your reusables.

Can I bring my own reusable container when picking up food or drinks or bringing home leftovers while dining out?

There are some beverage shops and restaurants that actively promote the law. Others may need outreach to transition their operations to comply. When in doubt, ask the shop. You can also try calling ahead and bring your own reusable bag for takeout food orders. Some online menus also promote or provide incentives to bring your own beverage/food container.

What if I don’t want to bring a reusable food/beverage container?

Food facilities in the unincorporated areas may provide single use food and beverage containers as long as they are not made of expanded polystyrene and are compostable or recyclable.

Won't washing reusable foodware articles be a burden on food facilities during these hard economic times?

Purchasing foodware articles to reduce trash ending up in landfills is a sustainable investment that can lead to reduced taxes for litter abatement and increased property values for the community.

Which businesses are affected by the Ordinance?

Affected food facilities and retail establishments are those located in the unincorporated areas, which are depicted in color on the County Map, and food orders to be delivered to these areas initiated by an online food ordering platform are also affected.

LA County Ordinances, Board Correspondence & Reports

Key State Legislation

  • SB 54 (Allen, et. al.– 2022) — Establishes the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act, which covers certain single-use packaging and plastic single-use food service ware. The Act prohibits a producer from selling, offering for sale, importing, or distributing covered materials in the state unless the producer is part of a producer responsibility organization (PRO) with a producer responsibility plan approved by CalRecycle for the source reduction, collection, processing, and recycling of covered material. The Act will require producers of covered materials to source reduce plastic covered material; ensure that covered materials manufactured and sold in the state on or after January 1, 2032, is recyclable or compostable; and ensure that this covered material meets specified recycling or composting rates.

  • SB 343 (Allen - 2021) — The Act Prohibits a person from offering for sale, selling, distributing, or importing into the state any product or packaging for which a deceptive or misleading claim about the recyclability of the product or packaging is made. The Act also requires CalRecycle, on or before January 1, 2024, to update specified regulations to require disposal facility operators to provide information to CalRecycle regarding how material processed by the operations and facilities was collected and what material types and forms are actively recovered, and not considered contaminants, by the operation or facility.

  • AB 1200 (Ting - 2021) — This Act prohibits any person from distributing, selling, or offering for sale in the state any food packaging comprised, in substantial part, of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers that contains regulated perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS beginning January 1, 2023. The Act requires, beginning January 1, 2023, a manufacturer of this cookware to post on the internet website for the cookware a list of chemicals in the cookware that is present on the designated list. Additionally, it would require, beginning January 1, 2024, a manufacturer of cookware sold in the state that contains one or more intentionally added chemicals present on a designated list, include a statement on the product label regarding the presence of those chemicals of concern in the cookware.

  • AB 1276 (Carrillo and Gonzalez – 2021) — This Act prohibits a food facility from providing single use foodware accessories or standard condiments to a consumer unless requested by the consumer and prohibits those items from being bundled or packaged in a way that prohibits the consumer from taking only the item desired. The Act also authorizes a food facility to ask a drive-through consumer, or a food facility located within a public airport to ask a walk-through consumer, if the consumer wants a single-use foodware accessory in specified circumstances. Requires a food facility using a third-party food delivery platform to list on its menu the availability of single use foodware accessories and standard condiments and only provide those items when requested.

  • AB 619 (Chiu -2019) — This Act specifies that clean consumer-owned containers provided or returned to the food facility for filling may be filled by either the employee or the owner of the container and would require the food facility to isolate the consumer-owned containers from the serving surface or sanitize the serving surface after each filling. The consumer-owned containers must be designed and constructed for reuse and the food facility must prepare, maintain, and adhere to written procedures to prevent cross-contamination, and to make the written procedures available to the enforcement agency. Furthermore, the act authorizes a local enforcement agency to allow a temporary food facility to use multiuse utensils that are cleaned, rinsed, and sanitized at either the temporary food facility or an approved food facility.

  • SB 567 (DeSaulnier – 2011) — This Act repeals certain prohibitions and would instead prohibit the sale of a plastic product labeled as "compostable" or "marine degradable" unless it meets those ASTM standard specifications or a standard adopted by CalRecycle, or unless the plastic product is labeled with a qualified claim for which CalRecycle has an adopted existing standard, and the plastic product meets that standard. The act prohibits the sale of a plastic product that is mislabeled as "biodegradable," "degradable," "decomposable," or other similar terminology.

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