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Single-Use Plastic

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On June 5th, 2018 the City of Manhattan Beach Council adopted an ordinance updating the City’s plastic pollution policy to include prohibiting the sale, use, and distribution of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, lid plugs, and utensils, including bioplastics (PLA #7), in the city of Manhattan Beach. 

Currently there are many options to substitute single use plastics service ware. Some reusable alternatives include, wood, metal, glass, and bamboo. Examples of disposable alternatives include paper, grain, and edible options (such as pasta straws).

sustainable MB straws

Single-Use Plastic Ban Compliance Dates:

July 1, 2018Ordinance 18-0016 became effective

January 1, 2019 – Single-use plastic Ordinance enforced.

What is the penalty for non-compliance?

Your business will receive a written notice that it is not in compliance with Manhattan Beach law. If your business continues to remain out of compliance, it can be fined via administrative citations.

How do I report a violation?

To report a violation, call the Code Enforcement’s main number (310) 802-5518. This number has a voicemail available 24 hours 7 days a week. Regular business hours are Monday through Thursday 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM, alternate open Fridays 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Another option is to email Code Enforcement.

What does “upon-request” mean and why is it needed if plastic straws and utensils are banned?

“Upon-request” simply means that customers will not receive disposable non-plastic straws and utensils unless they specifically ask for one. City Council included it in the ordinance to try and offset the cost of using non-plastic alternatives, while reducing the use of disposables and encouraging reusable utensils and straws.

How do I make sure my business is compliant and ocean-friendly?

The ordinance applies to all establishments and businesses that sell or use single-use plastic straws and utensils. If using non-plastic alternatives is a financial burden, you may qualify for a short-term exemption. The upon-request policy is incorporated with the straw and utensil ban to try to offset the costs of non-plastic alternatives while reducing the use of disposables. Please see our guidelines to the ordinance in English(PDF) or in Spanish (PDF). 

How do I, as a resident, help comply with this ordinance?

Firstly, the City would like to thank residents who have already committed to going strawless and eating without plastic utensils. Drinking without a straw is the best option, but we understand if residents feel like they need a straw when eating out. If residents are worried about not having single-use straws or plastic utensils when they sit down for a meal or get take-out, reusable straws and utensils are the way to go. Reusable straws made from bamboo, stainless steel, or glass are the best options, although there are reusable plastic straws as well. There are also stainless steel and reusable plastic utensils available for on-the-go use. To help businesses comply, we recommend residents be proactive by saying, "No straw, please" or "No plastic utensils, please" when ordering food and drinks, especially for take-out or delivery. The City appreciates the community for helping keep Manhattan Beach plastic-free. 

ADA concerns:

Included in the Ordinance is a clause allowing for those with disabilities to utilize plastic straws.


Why is plastic a problem?                                                                             

- Half of all sea turtles and nearly all seabirds have eaten plastic (SourceSource)

- Straws and utensils are in the top ten most commonly found pieces of trash during beach cleanups (Source)

- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is double the size of Texas (Source)

- By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight) (Source)

- Utensils are one of the most harmful pieces of plastic pollution to marine life (Source)

- Single use plastic is harmful to marine life, and it is our responsibility to keep the ocean as plastic-free as possible 

- Respecting our beaches and keeping our city clean is our civic duty 

- Protecting and preserving the environment is a part of Manhattan Beach’s core values 

Collectively, Americans use roughly 500 million plastic straws daily – enough to fill up 125 school buses each day and wrap around our entire planet 2.5 times. Because they are not recyclable, they mostly end up in landfills. Straws and utensils are some of the most harmful pieces of plastic pollution to marine life, according to the Ocean Conservancy. Sea animals, especially turtles, mistake them for food, and it can get stuck in their digestive tract. Turtles sometimes try to regurgitate the plastic, and it can get stuck in their nasal cavities. Two videos of researchers pulling out a straw and a plastic utensil from a sea turtle’s nose went viral, and kicked off the movement to ban single-use plastics. Straws and plastic utensils, even when they are properly disposed of in a trash bin, can end up in our oceans and pollute our beaches. They are one of the most common pieces of trash found during beach cleanups.


If you have any questions, please contact the Environmental Sustainability Division at (310)-802-5508.