SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council approved a revision to the 2007 Non-recyclable Plastic Food Service Container Ordinance in August 2018. The revision will expand the current list of banned plastic products to include all single-use plastics for prepared foods.

Single-use plastics for prepared foods includes straws, lids, utensils, plates, bowls, containers, stirrers, cups, and lid plugs. The ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

The goal of expanding the ban is to help preserve and protect the Santa Monica Bay from plastics polluting the water and unique ecosystems, while reducing landfill waste at the same time. It aligns with the city’s longstanding sustainability goals and commitment to the environment. By 2030, Santa Monica hopes to achieve zero waste through diversion, composting, and recycling.

In the past, the only type of material/food service ware that was prohibited in Santa Monica were containers, plates, bowls, trays, and cups made from Polystyrene.

At present, Marine Degradable products will be allowed at all times. To be Marine Degradable, service ware must be made out of fiber, paper, or wood. The service wares that will be offered in a Marine Degradable form are plates, bowls, trays, tubs, cones, hinged/lidded containers, stirrers, cups, lids, and lid plugs. Marine Degradable straws and utensils will only be offered upon request and upon request for medical conditions.

For individuals with medical conditions that require straws to drink, Polyethylene and Polypropylene straws will be offered upon request.

For a full chart of materials and food service ware types, visit Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environments website.