New Disposable Foodware Ordinance Aims to Reduce Plastic Pollution

South San Francisco, CA   October 4, 2022 Submitted by SSF Chamber of Commerce

The County of San Mateo and several local cities including South San Francisco, have adopted a Disposable Foodware Ordinance that begins on October 1, 2022.


The Ordinance aims to reduce waste by eliminating disposable foodware (e.g., cups, plates, clamshells, bowls, straws, utensils, toothpicks, etc.) that isn’t reusable or compostable, especially plastic foodware that persists in the environment and contains harmful chemicals. Instead, the Ordinance requires restaurants and other food facilities (e.g., farmers markets, food trucks, push carts, cafeterias, groceries, etc.) that serve prepared food to use natural fiber-based compostable foodware.  Aligning with the new state law AB 1276, accessories such as utensils, straws, and toothpicks can now only be distributed by request and/or at one-at-a-time dispensers, except for drive-throughs and airports.


Make sure your food facility is ready for the new Foodware Ordinance by using the resources available at the Foodware Aware website (, including detailed requirements, a comprehensive Product Purchasing Guide, FAQs, and printed educational materials.



For additional questions and technical assistance contact the County’s Foodware Aware Hotline at 888-442-2666 or email foodware@smcgov.o

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