Search Backing Bamboo forest
Office of Sustainability and the Environment
Business Business
Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance

DFSW_Banner 5

New Rules for 2019

The updated Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2019.  S.M.M.C Chapter 5.44 Ordinance 2586 pdf symbol

The new rules require food establishments to distribute food and beverages with marine degradable food service ware. Permitted materials include: paper, fiber, wood, wheat straw/straw, bagasse, or edible material. The ordinance prohibits plastic (#1-6), bio-plastic (#7/PLA) and aluminum. Disposable food service ware items include straws, utensils, stirrers, lid plugs, plates, trays, bowls, containers, cups and cup lids. Additionally, marine degradable straws and utensils may only be provided upon request. Enforcement will begin July 1, 2019 for these new rules. 

Temporary Exemption for Cups and Cup Lids: Due to the lack of market ready marine degradable cups and cup lids, these product categories will be exempt from the ordinance for one year. Businesses will be required to provide marine degradable cups and cup lids beginning January 1, 2020. The exemption allows product manufacturers, distributors, and businesses additional time to develop and procure compliant cups and cup lids. Council has limited this exemption to one year. By January 1, 2020, staff expects that all cups and cup lids will also be non-plastic and compostable in compliance with the ordinance.
Media Advisory - December 2018 pdf

The revisions to this ordinance protect the Santa Monica Bay from plastic pollution while reducing landfill waste. The vote aligns with the City's sustainability goals and longstanding commitment to the environment, which includes a goal to achieve zero waste through diversion, composting and recycling by 2030. 


Economic Hardship Exemption Application

The application process is as follows:
  1. Download the exemption Excel worksheet, fill it out, and save it to your computer.
  2. Click on the online exemption application link and fill out the application.  Upload the saved Excel worksheet to the online application. 
  3. Submit and look for a confirmation email.     


Foodware Thumb2
Download Pdf bug

Additional Information 

Additional Resources

Contact Information
Phone: (310) 458-2213
Bagasse Food Ware

If you see something, say something

Have you see any prohibited food ware items?

Report violations here Santa Monica Works (Select "Other Issues")

Or, email or call Code Enforcement directly, email:
phone: (310) 458-4984

You'll be helping to protect our environment, especially the Santa Monica Bay.


Last updated: Tuesday, 07/02/2019
City of Santa Monica © 2019

Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626