Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance
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Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance

Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance

Starting April 1, 2012, food vendors in Foster City have been prohibited from using polystyrene-based disposable food service ware.  The City Council adopted the County of San Mateo's ordinance by reference, meaning that all of the provisions of the County's ordinance apply in Foster City. 

Foster City's Ordinance is enforced by San Mateo County Health Department during routine health inspections of permitted food vendors. Additional inspections may be made based on complaints.

Residents can support this ordinance by properly recycling or composting take-out containers.  Or, reduce waste by bringing your reusable coffee mug or containers when you eat out.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who has to follow the ordinance?

All food vendors who are required to obtain a permit to sell prepared food as listed in the Ordinance, including but not limited to restaurants, cafes, delis, fast-food establishments, vendors at fairs, and food trucks.

What does the ordinance prohibit?

Foam and solid polystyrene food service ware as listed in the Ordinance, including but not limited to containers, bowls, plates, and cups.

Why regulate the use of polystyrene?

Polystyrene is difficult to recycle and when littered, creates a threat to marine environment and wildlife.

What food service ware does the ordinance allow?

Any type of biodegradable, compostable, reusable, or recyclable food service ware.  Acceptable products include: Aluminum, plastics coded with #1, 2, 4 or 5, uncoated or coated paper, cardboard, and plastics made from corn, potatoes, sugar, or other plant based products.

Can I get recycling or compost collection service at my business?

The City encourages all businesses to offer recycling and/or composting bins for your customers and employees.  Being able to recycle and compost will ensure that the take-out containers you use can be properly disposed of.  To get recycling or compost service at your facility, contact Recology San Mateo County.

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