Plastic to-go containers, plastic cutlery sets wrapped in cellophane that you never wanted or needed, foam coffee cups and their plastic lids, polystyrene disposable anything.
We are drowning in this stuff, and most folks wish they were able to do something to not be part of the problem. But it can be hard!
When was the last time you brought home takeout from your favorite restaurant, and opened a bag to find foam or plastic containers and a set of utensils that you didn’t ask for or maybe even requested that you not be given? Or sat down at your favorite sushi or kebab spot and had a plastic straw plunked down next to your ice water and your delicious food brought to you on a disposable black plastic plate? You love and support the restaurant and the people that run it, but did you wish that things were just….different?
Well, Glendalians, here is our chance to make things better, with a proposed city-wide, Plastic Waste Reduction Ordinance! And, most of these changes will be good for the bottom line of the restaurants too. Reuse is cost effective and over time can mean quite a bit of annual savings. Eco-friendly products can be on par or cheaper than their plastic counterparts. Not giving out items people don’t ask for means lots of stock you never have to buy. Reusable coffee cups…come on everybody, we can bring our own and ask for a fill up! We can do it! And if we don’t remember, maybe that 25 cent cup charge will help us remember next time.
Council will vote on a terrific plastic waste reduction ordinance Tuesday, January 31, 2023
We ask you to email, call, go to Council, to support these new rules, the timeline as proposed, and the education and outreach that will help them be effective. However, we ask you to request that Council address one issue.
Both of the options presented for proposed fines are too weak and ineffective.
They reduce penalties currently adopted for Glendale Ord. No. 5964 (Section 8.42.050), the “Polystyrene and Single-Use Plastic Products” Ordinance for City Facilities and Events adopted on April 6, 2021, which this ordinance will replace. They are much weaker and less effective than similar ordinances adopted by over 150 California cities. Please ask City Council to keep fines the same as what is currently in place for the Polystyrene and Single-Use Plastics City Facilities and Events Ordinance. The fee resolution with the $300 annual cap will handicap this ordinance. Businesses can choose to ignore the ordinance and simply pay the fine as a cost of doing business.
We believe that most businesses want to be good neighbors and comply with city regulations, but for the very few that will not comply, strong penalties for violations of the ordinance help ensure equitable treatment and a “level playing field” for all.
And now, here are the fantastic new rules under consideration, that will help our City reduce plastic that is too often littered and makes its way to the Pacific Ocean, that fills our landfills, that contaminates our recyclables and that costs us financially too, whether we know it or not, through our taxes (litter cleanup, hauling fees, and potential hefty water pollution impact fees that can be levied on municipalities). It burdens us with the heaviest costs, like the degradation of our waterways and our own bodies. We are breathing plastic, we are drinking it, we are literally eating it. It’s time to do something to make a change.
PROPOSED PLASTIC WASTE REDUCTION REGULATIONS:
1. Prohibition of use, distribution, and sale of expanded polystyrene (EPS) or “foam” foodware, polystyrene coolers, polystyrene packing materials, polystyrene egg cartons, and polystyrene produce, meat and fish trays.
2. Prohibition of the use of single-use plastic straws, stirrers and utensils for use on- site, or for to-go or delivery meals. (These items must instead be made of non-plastic materials such as paper, wood, pasta, sugar, bamboo. To-go items must be upon request only per “Skip the Stuff” ordinance, previously approved.)
3. Establishment of compostable/recyclable foodware standards (item must be accepted by City’s recycling or compost collection programs and must be free of intentionally added fluorinated chemicals (PFAS) Note: State law prohibits added PFAS as of Jan. 2023.
4. Implementation of 25 cent single-use cup charge (proceeds retained by restaurants)
5. Use of reusable foodware for dining on premises (when not feasible can get a waiver, must then comply with compostable foodware standards. Compostable paper, food wrappers/sleeves/bags and recyclable foil are allowed.)
6. Restrictions on the use of single use plastic beverage bottles for City of Glendale facilities and events About 16.4 million people pass through the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) annually, where all beverages are sold in reusable or recyclable aluminum, or glass containers.
There are some very helpful resources out there, which provide funding and guidance.
ReThinkDisposable.org and the Glendale-based nonprofit PlasticFreeRestaurants.org offer grants to restaurants to make the switch to reusables! Plastic Free Restaurants is a resource for all that is based here in our city and run by a member of GEC!
There are some very helpful guides out there for restaurants, such as these from Surfrider Foundation and Beyond Plastics, and the Reusable Food Serviceware Guide created by ReThink Disposable.
Thank Council for introducing the ordinance that helps to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment and reduced city cleanup expenses, and helps to promote business goodwill through their contributions to a cleaner environment. Ask for them to adopt the ordinance. Ask them to keep fines the same as what is currently in place for the Polystyrene and Single-Use Plastics City Facilities and Events Ordinance.
Tuesday, January 31 at 6 PM, Please attend in person to speak or watch meeting on Youtube/Myglendale and follow agenda to call in when item is up: (818) 937-8100
Email Council members in advance:
Mayor Ardy Kassakhian: AKassakhian@GlendaleCA.gov
Elen Asatryan: EAsatryan@glendaleca.gov
Dan Brotman: DBrotman@Glendaleca.gov
Paula Devine: PDevine@glendaleca.gov
Ara Najarian: ANajarian@glendaleca.gov
LINKS: Agenda / Ordinance / Fee Resolution / Alternative Fee Resolution / Council Watch Post / Staff Report (from 1/10/23 Meeting)