The two largest cities in California have passed laws that put new limits on single-use plastics.
Both the Los Angeles and San Diego city councils passed the ordinances on Dec. 6.
The cities will ban the use of single-use products such as cups, containers and other expanded polystyrene products. San Diego also took the ban a step further and made utensils and straws available to customers by requests only.
Los Angeles passed three ordinances: A ban on single-use PS, an extension of regulations on single-use plastic bags and a commitment to zero-waste policies.
"Cities are leading the fight against single-use plastic in California. Los Angeles and San Diego know there's no time to waste when plastic production is projected to exponentially grow over the next few decades, so they're carrying the torch," said Christy Leavitt, Oceana's plastics campaign director.
"As the two largest cities in California, Los Angeles and San Diego have the power to put a notable dent in the state's plastic footprint while sending a clear message to the rest of the country," Leavitt said.
She noted that even though the state Legislature passed the country's toughest plastics pollution law earlier this year, "California's cities are not sitting back. Instead, they are prioritizing local policies that strengthen the fight against single-use plastic."
The state law, known as Senate Bill 54, calls for a 25 percent cut in single-use plastic packaging by 2032. But Heidi Sanborn, executive director of National Stewardship Action Council, noted that the state law reserved the right of local governments to pass stricter laws.
Los Angeles will start an outreach program to educate consumers and businesses about the zero-waste law. The city ordinances go into effect in April 2023.
There will also be a reevaluation in April 2025 about how the PS and bag bans are working and how the fines are applied.
San Diego has been working on a PS ban since 2019. Its new ordinances will take effect in early 2023.
"I'm hopeful that these ordinances will aid in the long term and reverse the profound damage that we've really seen accelerate in the last 16 years," said Mitch O'Farrell, a member of the Los Angeles City Council. "The future indeed is not plastics, it's renewable."