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Palo Alto's Ban to Keep Plastics Out of Ocean and Landfill

Palo Alto's Ban to Keep Plastics Out of Ocean and Landfill

Palo Alto just might be ground zero in the rejuvenated war against plastics. On Monday, June 10, Council approved one of the region’s strictest restrictions on plastics by banning plastic straws, produce and meat bags, utensils and other single-use items that bypass the recycling sorting process. The disabled and patients at hospitals and clinics are being excluded from this ordinance.

When the new rules take effect in the new year, Palo Alto will be the first Bay Area city to ban plastic produce and meat bags from stores and farmers’ markets.

The City increased awareness about the environmental impact plastic straws have on sea life last year when it supported “the Last Straw” campaign lead by local Girl Scouts Troop 60016. At that time, Council declared May 2018 Plastic Straw Awareness month in Palo Alto and 37 local restaurants showed their support by only offering paper straws.

At Monday’s meeting, Council also declared its intent to advance additional laws next year such as requiring food establishments to charge customers for single-use cups and to only offer reusable foodware for dining in.

You can read the full Staff report by clicking here.

Last Updated: June 19, 2019