Los Angeles lawmakers vote to cut out polystyrene foam, other common plastic pollution culprits

New ordinances will help curb the 30 million tons of waste (much of it from throwaway plastic items) that Los Angeles County creates each year.

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The City of Angels is taking major steps toward becoming the City of Zero Waste.

On Dec. 6, the Los Angeles City Council approved several ordinances that will help curb plastic waste across the city (and lead the way for more communities to do the same). The new policies will: prohibit the sale and distribution of polystyrene foam products, commonly called Styrofoam; expand the city’s ban on single-use plastic bags to restaurants and retail stores; and require all city-run events and facilities, such as the Los Angeles Zoo, to implement policies to reduce waste to zero.

“With today’s vote, the city council is sending a clear message that the key to solving our plastic waste crisis is using less plastic in the first place,” said CALPIRG State Director Jenn Engstrom.

Laura Deehan, state director with Environment California, added: “Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years. That’s why we need to stop using plastic items we can easily replace with sustainable alternatives and that’s exactly what the city of Los Angeles is doing.”

Leading up to the vote, our advocates and allies coordinated a City Council Lobby Week of Action this week, turned in 4,000 petition signatures, and testified before the city council in support of strong action on plastic waste.

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