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Expanded Plastics Ban Kicks in January 1


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December 21, 2018 -- Santa Monica's expanded ban on single-use plastics kicks on on New Year's Day, but businesses have six months to adjust before enforcement begins, City officials said Thursday.

Under the ban, food establishments must distribute food and beverages with marine degradable ware that is composed of paper, fiber, wood, wheat straw and straw, bagasse or edible material.

Approved in August, the ordinance prohibits plastic, bio-plastic and aluminum ("Santa Monica Expands Plastic Ban," August 15, 2018).

The ban -- which will impact some 800 food and beverage-related businesses in the beach city --includes straws, lids, utensils, plates, bowls, trays, containers, stirrers, cups and lid plugs.

Beverage lids can be "on-marine degradable" but may not be made of polystyrene, according to the ordinance.

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The new law also requires that all marine degradable disposable straws and utensils be provided to customers only upon request.

Due to the lack of market ready marine degradable cups and cup lids, those products will be exempt from the ordinance for one year, officials said.

"The exemption allows product manufacturers, distributors, and businesses additional time to develop and procure compliant cups and cup lids," officials said.

Businesses that can show economic hardship will get a one-year reprieve under a provision added by the Council

Officials said the ordinance will protect Santa Monica Bay from plastic pollution and reduce landfill waste "by making food and food related waste, readily recyclable in the expanding organics collection system."

The Office of Sustainability and the Environment (OSE) staff have been working with affected businesses to prepare for implementation and compliance, officials said.

The new ordinance expands Santa Monica's 2007 ban on polystyrene food service containers and its 2011 ban on single-use plastic bags, among the first municipal bans of their kind.

They are part of the City's effort to achieve zero waste by 2030.

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