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Office of Sustainability and the Environment
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Non-Recyclable Food Service Container Ban
Take Out

Sure, the photo on the left was taken after the storm drains were flushed by a major rain, and the one on the right is just another beautiful day in Santa Monica, but you get the picture – our take out should never leave such a bad aftertaste. And, although we have a long way to go to address the problems from food related litter, we have come a long way.

Thank you to the over 600 food establishments and countless community members that have successfully participated in Santa Monica’s Non-Recyclable Food Service Container Ban. In place since February 2008, the ban is an important first step in eliminating plastics from our beaches.

Eat well, buy locally and protect our valuable natural resources by never littering.


Help Enforce the Ban 

If you see any banned non-recyclable food service containers labled with a #6, please complete this brief form.

Or, use the GO Santa Monica government outreach tool, category: Environmental Issues.

Or, email or call directly to:
phone: 310.458.4984

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


Consultations for Food-Vendors

Appointments are available for one-on-one consultations to help find quick solutions to your container needs. We have sample containers on hand to show you  the type of products on the market.
Contact: The Office of Sustainability and the Environment at

Useful Websites:

California Integrated Waste Management Board: 
California Resource Recovery Association:
Sustainable Works Business Greening Program 

Santa Monica Container Ban in the News :

Los Angeles Times Article

Self Magazine Article
Santa Monica Daily Press Article


Santa Monica Mirror Article

Sorting out the issues

Trash: Southern California's mission to clean up the confusion: A report on how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and a bit of history - Los Angeles Times, January 29, 2011

To-Go Containers Go Green

Expanded polystyrene and non-recyclable plastic together make up the largest amount of waste that ends up on Santa Monica’s beaches.  These pollutants cause significant environmental damage as they are commonly mistaken for food by marine animals and seabirds. By banning these types of disposable plastic food containers, the ordinance will help to reduce the amount of these materials that pollute Santa Monica’s beaches and bay.

Santa Monica has joined sister cities across the country in banning non-recyclable plastic food to-go containers - an important interim step toward protecting our oceans, lakes and streams from the ravages of plastics litter.
Last updated: Tuesday, 05/09/2017
City of Santa Monica © 2017

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