An announcement within the City of Irvine has recently been made concerning a ban on single-use plastics. This ban, if placed, would mostly affect local restaurants and would be passed with the aim of reducing how much plastic is being distributed to the community and therefore causing harm to the community and the environment.
This ban on single-use plastics was suggested by a climate scientist from the University of California, Irvine, Kathleen Treseder, in October. She made this suggestion after a similar one was made in Laguna Beach, which will become effective next year. Treseder’s suggestion would encompass, prohibiting the sale of single-use plastic items, only supplying water to environmentally friendly containers, completely banning the use of polystyrene along with other plastic containers which would be used for food service, and finally, make it mandatory for takeout containers to be compostable.
If this ban goes ahead then it will certainly be one of the strictest within the nation as it will mean that water bottles, takeout polystyrene containers and plastic utensils will all be banned. This will be a very dramatic change for the City of Irvine to handle.
After the announcement, whilst multiple parties agreed with the ban and mentioned what a good change it would be and how beneficial it would be, some parties such as local restaurants and businesses were not as supportive, mentioning how difficult the change would make it for them to operate. However other businesses have already started transitioning towards a greener, plastic-free approach. One business who is taking an innovative approach is Breakfast Republic who have started serving drinks with metal straws and have begun to use environmentally friendly and safe to-go boxes and utensils.
City Councilmember, Treseder, commented, “We are choking on plastic, especially our oceans and even our city here.”