Polystyrene Foam Food Service Ware Ordinance

The City of Los Altos Environmental Commission will assist with outreach to help educate the public and local businesses about a Polystyrene Foam Food Service Ware Ordinance that is currently under consideration.

The proposed Polystyrene Foam Food Service Ware Ordinance is a model ordinance that would regulate the use of polystyrene foam food service ware by restaurants and food service establishments within participating jurisdictions in Santa Clara County. Those participating jurisdictions include the following 13 incorporated cities and towns in the County: San Jose, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale. The City of Palo Alto, Township of Los Altos Hills, and Santa Clara (unincorporated area) have already adopted similar ordinances.

The proposed ordinance would phase-out the use of expanded or extruded polystyrene (EPS) foam food service ware. Restrictions on use would be phased to allow restaurants using EPS food ware to transition to alterative products. Two options for additional regulation of EPS food ware products may also be adopted by any or all of the participating cities or towns and unincorporated Santa Clara County. The two options include: 1) a restriction of sales of EPS foam food service ware in retail stores and sales outlets; and 2) a restriction of EPS coolers or ice chests which are not wholly encapsulated or encased within a more durable material.

The City of San Jose is the lead agency on the proposed ordinance and has performed environmental review on the project.