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City ordinance looks to cut waste at restaurants

Palm Springs is considering regulations that will reduce waste and promote reusable food items at sit-down restaurants, coffee shops and food-vending convenience stores.

The city council recently approved an early version of an ordinance that, if approved, will impact food vendors in onsite dining and takeout, according to a statement on the city’s website.

Council members are expected to revisit the matter in June, after the draft ordinance has been crafted into a final proposal. If approved, the changes will be implemented Jan. 1, 2022, when Palm Springs officials can help businesses dealing with the new rules.

Proposed changes include:

  • Prohibiting the sale and use of polystyrene food ware, in foam and rigid forms. This will also apply to retailers.
  • Reusable food ware and accessories will be used only for on-site dining.
  • A ban on petroleum-based plastic straws
  • A requirement that food ware accessories be available only on request or in a self-service area to minimize distribution of unwanted items
  • Prohibiting the use of single-use plastic bags for takeout orders.

“Palm Springs is excited to work with our local businesses to implement this new policy and advance environmental protection forward in the Coachella Valley,” said Sustainability Manager Patrick Tallarico in the statement.

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