Los Angeles County Votes to Phase Out Single Use Plastics

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

For More Information: 
Kathryn Gonzalez-Valle, Campus Organizer, CALPIRG Students
[email protected], (310) 480-4353

LOS ANGELES, Calif. –The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance limiting single-use plastics. This new statute applies to restaurants and retail establishments that are located within the unincorporated area of the County, as well as food service located within County facilities. It requires that when businesses provide customers with containers, cups, dishes and accessories for their food, it needs to be either compostable or recyclable.

“So much pollution comes from things we don’t need and have known for decades we shouldn’t be using, like foam cups and take out containers. It’s exciting to see the largest county in the country take action to stop plastic pollution and signal to the rest of the state and nation that this type of policy is both possible and necessary,” said UCLA second year Clara Castronovo, CALPIRG at UCLA’s Beyond Plastics coordinator.

The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) chapter at UCLA built support for this ordinance on campus this school year. Student advocates mobilized more than 1,900 peers to sign a petition, 50 of them wrote letters to the Board of Supervisors and they convinced the Undergraduate Students Association Council to pass a resolution supporting the measure.

“It has been really exciting to see just how passionate students are about  a plastic-free future,” continued Castronovo. “Single-use plastics never go away, so the clear solution is to stop using them.”

The ordinance also:

  • Prohibits the retail sale of products made from expanded polystyrene, such as coolers, packaging materials, and single-use articles such as cups and plates.
  • Requires full-service restaurants to use multiservice utensils for dine-in customers

The ordinance will go into effect May 1, 2023, for restaurants in a permanent location; November 1, 2023, for food trucks; and May 1, 2024, for certified farmers’ markets, temporary food facilities and catering operations.

Castronovo ended, “Not only will this ordinance protect the environment and communities of the largest county in the state, but it can also be the first step toward broader statewide action on plastic pollution. I am excited to take the next steps to further fight plastic pollution across California!” 

CALPIRG Students provided the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. For more information, visit www.calpirgstudents.org