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Plastic Straws-on-Request Ordinance

As of April 22, 2019, food or beverage facilities in Los Angeles that have more than 26 employees will be subject to compliance with the City’s Straws-on-Request ordinance. Under this ordinance, food or beverage facilities may provide a disposable plastic* straw to a dine-in or take-out customer ONLY if the customer requests one. Food or beverage facilities may not automatically provide a disposable plastic straw to drive-through or delivery customers, but may ask those customers if they want one.

All other food or beverage facilities must comply with the requirements of the ordinance by October 1, 2019. Licensed Health Facilities, as defined in Section 1250 of the California Health and Safety Code, are exempt from the requirements of this ordinance.

LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) conducted a survey at Abilities Expo to understand how the ordinance may affect people. Preliminary results can be viewed in the presentation below in our Downloads section.

REASON FOR THE ORDINANCE

Approximately 300-500 million plastic straws are used in the United States each day. Straws are the 6th most common item during beach cleanups, and they are often consumed by marine life – which suffocate, starve or are poisoned as a result. Because of their small size, few straws can be recycled due to limitations of recycling process equipment. When disposed in landfills, plastic straws have the potential to leach toxic pollutants into soil and groundwater. Read the City's Ordinance here.
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ALTERNATIVES TO PLASTIC STRAWS

Many alternatives are available for plastic straws – stainless steel, silicone, paper, sugar cane, and other materials are viable options. “Sippy cup” lids are also gaining popularity. Consumers are asked to consider purchasing their own reusable straws to decrease overall consumption of single-use items. LA Sanitation & Environment does NOT recommend “bio-plastic” or “compostable plastic” (often labeled “PLA”) products because these cannot be composted locally and are contaminants in Los Angeles’ curbside recycling program and in the commercial franchise recycLA program.
Paper straws

More Information


Our downloadable FAQs offer more details. Additionally, LASAN staff is available to give presentations and answer any questions. Contact our Solid Resources Citywide Recycling Division (SRCRD) by calling 213- 485-2260 or email srcrd@lacity.org.  You may also call our 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489 with any questions.

* Plastic straws include those made from or labeled “bioplastic/compostable/poly-lactic (PLA)”.
Downloads