Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance

Be Foodware Aware

UPDATE: The City recently updated the Foodware Ordinance in March 2022 to align with new state requirements (AB 1276 and AB 1200). Check below for updated resources. Additional resources are forthcoming, so please check back! 


On September 13, 2021, the Daly City Council unanimously adopted a Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance to address plastic pollution by eliminating the unnecessary distribution and use of single-use plastics. This Ordinance repeals and replaces Chapter 8.64 of the Daly City Municipal Code, and builds upon previous City regulations that prohibited food vendors from using polystyrene-based disposable food service ware.

The City’s new regulation, modeled after the County of San Mateo, will require Daly City food facilities to transition to non-plastic alternatives—natural fiber-based products, such as paper, sugarcane, bamboo, and wood. Reusable alternatives shall be provided in place of disposable foodware, wherever practicable. Food facilities must also regulate the distribution of compliant disposable foodware accessories.

This Ordinance was updated on March 28, 2022 to align with new state foodware laws. 

Who will this impact?

Food facilities - any vendor, business, organization, entity, group, or individual that provides prepared food for public consumption. Examples: restaurants, mobile food facilities, temporary food facilities, farmers markets, etc.

How will this impact food facilities?

Accessories (e.g., straws, utensils, condiment packets, napkins, etc.) cannot be automatically distributed to consumers. Take-out food delivery services that utilize digital ordering platforms shall provide clear options for customers to affirmatively request accessories.

Old Requirements

New Requirements (based on New State Law)

Food facilities can offer single-use foodware accessories to consumers.

Food facilities cannot offer single-use foodware accessories except at drive-throughs.

Food facilities can distribute foodware accessories using dispensers and have them available at self-serve areas, including in open bins/containers for consumers to grab-and-go. 

Open bins/containers for consumers to grab-and-go are no longer allowed for distribution of accessories. Consumers must request them from the food operator and/or food facilities can have them available at refillable dispensers that dispense accessories one item at a time. 

There was no reference to allowing/not allowing refillable, bulk condiment dispensers in the previous ordinance.

Food facilities are allowed to use self-serve, refillable, bulk condiment dispensers to distribute condiments. 

Straws, stirrers, bundled utensils, and cocktail/toothpicks (and the packaging that these individual items are wrapped in, if any) must be non-plastic and compostable materials, or reusable wherever practicable. Acceptable materials include natural fiber-based products such as paper, sugarcane, wheat stalk/stem, bamboo, wood, etc. Traditional plastics (petroleum-based) and compostable plastics (aka bioplastics or polyactic acid [PLA]) shall not be allowed for the items listed above.

Plates, bowls, cups, food trays, clamshells, boxes, deli containers, and other containers must be non-plastic and compostable, or reusable wherever practicable. These items may be lined with, but not made entirely of compostable plastic. Additionally, these items shall be certified by Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) or approved third party. 

Exemptions are allowed for disposable food service ware made from aluminum, medical accommodations, healthcare facilities, and drive-through areas. See Ordinance Summary for exact details.

Outreach and Education

Developed a dedicated webpage to educate the community about single-use plastics in Fall 2019. 

Launched an online survey beginning in September 2019.

Conducted targeted outreach to 293 food facilities in October 2019.

Halted efforts to adopt the Ordinance in Spring 2020 due to the significant impacts the pandemic had on our business community. 

Hosted two online Sustainability Workshops for Businesses in partnership with Republic Services to provide education and answer questions related to Disposable Food Service Ware in November 2020.

Relaunched online survey in Spring 2021.  

Sought feedback from Small Business Commission in June 2021. 

Conducted additional targeted outreach to 156 food facilities via email in July 2021.

Hosted a Sustainability Workshop for Businesses in partnership with Republic Services to provide further education and answer questions related to Disposable Food Service Ware in July 2021.

Introduced proposed County of San Mateo Model Ordinance with Reusable amendment to City Council in July 2021. 

Second reading and adoption of Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance scheduled for the September 13, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting. 

Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance adopted on September 13, 2021.

Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance updated on March 28, 2022.

Conducting targeted outreach to 328 food facilities in April 2022.