If you sit down for a drink at a Santa Clarita Valley business inside an unincorporated part of the county, don’t expect to get a straw, or even a stir stick.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a recommendation calling on businesses that served food and/or beverages in the unincorporated areas of the County to prohibit them from automatically providing straws or stirrers to customers. The unincorporated areas in the SCV include communities that aren’t within city limits, such as Agua Dulce, Castaic and Val Verde.
They also authorized the director of the Public Health Department to adopt as many regulations “as may be needed” to enforce the decision, in the same measure.
The move follows implementation of the state’s Assembly Bill 1884, which was signed into law two months ago. It goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
The law prohibits full-service restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws and stirrers to customers unless requested by customers.
The purpose of the law is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic straws and stir sticks that end up in the ocean as debris.
The law affects all food service businesses in Los Angeles County including fast food restaurants, mobile food trucks, cafeterias and bars.
Under the state law, penalty for violating it — after two written notices — is a fine not exceeding $25 for each day the violation, not to exceed $300 in a year.
Supervisors, in considering the motion, weighed the environmental impacts of straws and stirrers collecting as debris in the ocean.
They considered, for instance, that often the straws and stirrers end up in local waterways.
Plastics made up an estimated 60 percent to 80 percent of all marine debris and 90 percent of all floating debris, according to the fact sheet attached to the recommendation.
Unincorporated areas in and around the Santa Clarita Valley include: Agua Dulce, Acton, Castaic, Green Valley, Lake Hughes, Leona Valley, Stevenson Ranch, and Val Verde.