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Diners now have to ask for plastic utensils and napkins in Los Angeles

The new ordinance, which requires businesses to stop including the items with takeout orders or for dine-in meals unless a customer asks for them, aims to reduce waste.
/ Source: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Customers at Los Angeles restaurants will only get plastic utensils and napkins if they ask for them, under a new ordinance taking effect Monday that aims to reduce waste.

The rule requires all restaurants with more than 26 employees to remove all single-use plastic utensil dispensers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Businesses must also stop including plastic utensils and napkins with takeout orders or for dine-in meals unless a customer specifically asks for them.

Enforcement won’t begin until January.

Over 32,000 mailers were sent out earlier this year to update restaurants on the new rules. The letters were printed in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and English.

The City Council passed the ordinance last April.

The city of Malibu set the plastic-ban standard in 2008 when it phased out plastic shopping bags, then a decade later cracked down on single-use plastics. The cities of Davis and San Luis Obispo have similar laws, according to the Times.