Restrictions on Plastic Utensils Go into Effect for LA Restaurants

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On November 15, 2021, a Los Angeles City Council ordinance aiming to drastically reduce single-serve plastic utensils within the city went into effect.

Restaurants with more than 26 employees are required to remove all single-use disposable food-ware dispensers from common areas. Additionally, these restaurants are required to stop including plastic utensils and napkins with takeout orders or for dine-in meals unless customers specifically ask for them. If restaurants use an online ordering platform or third-party food delivery service, they are required to require consumers to opt-in to receive plastic utensils, rather than automatically including them with online orders.

While the ordinance is in effect now, it will not be enforced until January 1, 2022. Restaurants will receive a written notice for first and second violations, and fines of $25 after a third violation. Fines shall not exceed $300 per calendar year.

All food and beverage businesses in the city, regardless of the number of employees, will be required to follow the new rules starting April 22, 2022.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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