SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced that the updated Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2019. The new rules mandate food establishments to distribute food and beverages with marine degradable food service ware.

Such items 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.  Marine degradable straws and utensils may only be provided upon request.

In a press release, the city of Santa Monica indicated that due to the lack of market ready marine degradable cups and cup lids, certain product categories will be exempt from the ordinance for one year. Businesses will be required to provide marine degradable cups and cup lids beginning January 1, 2020. The exemption allows product manufacturers, distributers, and businesses additional time to develop and procure compliant cups and cup lids. The Santa Monica City Council limited this exemption to one year.

Enforcement measures will start July 1, 2019, allowing for a six-month adjustment period for impacted businesses.

The ordinance is aimed to prevent plastic pollution at the Santa Monica Bay and decrease landfilled waste by making food and food related waste, readily recyclable in the expanding organics collection system. The Office of Sustainability and the Environment (OSE) staff have been working with local food and beverage providers, distributors and manufacturers to plan for implementation and compliance.  For more details visit