It’s here, the new ordinance in Palm Springs banning the use of disposable plastic eating utensils.

The Palm Springs City Council passed this ordinance in July of 2021 to promote the use of reusable utensils.

The new ordinance affects all  “prepared food vendors”.   From coffee shops and food-vending convenience stores,  to formal sit-down restaurants. It includes provisions for on-site dining as well as takeout food.

The ordinance also bans the sale and use of food containers that contain polystyrene foam and plastic.

When eating at a coffee shop or a deli or anywhere else in Palm Springs, you will have to be given reusable plates, dishes, cups, and utensils.

No more plastic forks and knives and spoons.

No more plastic straws and coffee stirrers. Those items will have to be made from other materials and be available if you ask for them or in a self service area. No more foam coffee cups.

Your takeout order cannot be in a styrofoam container and whatever container you do get, cannot be in a single use plastic bag…because those are banned too.

  • A broad ban on the sale and use of polystyrene food ware – in foam and rigid forms.
  • A requirement that reusable food ware (plates, dishes, cups) and accessories

(utensils) be used for on-site dining.

  • A ban on plastic straws and stirrers.
  • A requirement that disposable food ware accessories such as utensils, straws, and stirrers be available only on request or in a self-service area to minimize distribution of unwanted items.
  • A ban on the use of single-use plastic bags for takeout orders.

The City of Palm Springs is offering sustainability scholarships to help businesses comply with the new laws.

Flinn Fagg, the Director of Development Services says The City of Palm Springs is excited to work with local businesses to implement this new policy and advance environmental protection.

Businesses can apply for exceptions where necessary and provide the City with a compliance plan.

As for customers…you should get ready and the city suggests the following.

  • Saying no to any unwanted accessories when provided automatically.
  • Bringing their own bags if they are ordering food for pickup or when they expect they might have leftovers to take home.
  • Remembering to request accessories and condiments only when needed for takeout or for home delivery.

More information is available on the City’s Sustainability Web page at www.yoursustainablecity.com

Plastic fork, knife and spoon, crossed over each other, on a table.

Photo by Alpha Media Palm Springs CA