On October 13, 2020, based on the recommendations of a stakeholder group representing a cross-section of affected businesses and public members, the City Council voted to ban the use, distribution, and sale of polystyrene. The ordinance takes effect January 1, 2022.
Why is there a ban?
Plastic straws and polystyrene are non-recyclable petroleum products that do not biodegrade. Expanded polystyrene (commonly called Styrofoam™) products easily break apart and are a common environmental contaminant that harms wildlife when ingested.
What is banned?
Single-use rigid and expanded polystyrene products, unencapsulated expanded polystyrene products, and automatic distribution of plastic beverage straws and cutlery inside food establishments.
What is Polystyrene?
Polystyrene products include rigid polystyrene materials used to make disposable cutlery and clamshell containers and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) products including foam cups, plates, clamshell food containers, and items like bodyboards and ice chests. These items are usually labeled with a recycling code PS or #6.
- Expanded polystyrene – cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, trays, packaging peanuts, ice chests, beach and pool toys (unless they are fully encased within a more durable material)
- Rigid polystyrene – cutlery, cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, trays
- Beverage straws and plastic utensils can be provided on request only or at customer self-service locations only when dining at restaurants
Who must comply with the ban?
- All food providers (restaurants, cafeterias, food trucks, etc.)
- Packaging and shipping outlets
- Retailers of food packaging and shipping products
What can I use?
Contact your supplier. There are many alternatives, including:
- Plastics 1 through 5
Are there exemptions?
- Foods packaged outside of the City
- Raw meat and fish trays
- Reuse of shipping materials
Can I get a waiver?
Waivers will be considered for the following:
- There are no reasonable alternatives to polystyrene food ware
- There is no reasonable alternative to a specific expanded polystyrene use
- Compliance would cause undue hardship to the food provider
- Waivers must be renewed annually
Where can I get more information?
Written warnings and citations may be issued for noncompliance