Starting today, Earth Day, LA residents will have a harder time coming by plastic straws in restaurants and other public areas. That’s because the City Council voted in March to prohibit eateries from offering plastic straws to customers unless they request them.
To kick off the restrictions, the city of LA hopes to start with implementing this change with larger businesses. But by the time October comes around, the city hopes to have smaller businesses follow suit as well.
Although a similar ordinance was approved in LA county in December, where restaurants are mandated to ask their customers whether they want straws with their order. However, with this new ordinance in LA, customers will need to be the ones to take initiative in making this ask.
But LA hasn’t quite completely banned plastic straws yet. That’s unlike other cities in California, including San Francisco and others. Although, that doesn’t mean LA’s decision doesn’t extend far enough. In fact, it might just make its citizens be more aware of the plastic waste incurred from the usage of plastic straws.
LA’s approved ordinance seems to be a move in the right direction in tackling a critical issue in environmental sustainability. It would be interesting to see other places like Seattle follow suit, just to see if a solution like restricting plastic straw usage would be significantly detrimental to the customer experiences in restaurants.
As more companies and politicians step in to recognize issues in environmental sustainability, coupled with cities like LA and San Francisco, it seems like people are finally starting to tackle what was the elephant in the room.
Steven is an Editor for the Politics section at The Rising and a Computer Science student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.