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Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance

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Updates for 2020

The 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.

UPDATE: Exemption for Cups and Cup Lids Extended: Due to the lack of market ready marine degradable cups and cup lids, these product categories are exempted.  The exemption allows product manufacturers, distributors, and businesses additional time to develop and procure compliant cups and cup lids. 

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. 

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


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.     


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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: Thursday, 06/17/2021
City of Santa Monica © 2021

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