Richmond's Food Ware Ordinance

Food Ware such as straws, utensils, and cups, that are not reusable or fiber-compostable create tons of avoidable trash. It negatively impacts our natural and marine environment both locally and globally. The ordinance helps keep polystyrene foam and small plastics out of the streets, storm drains, and bodies of water.

The City of Richmond Food Ware Ordinance prohibits the sale and use of 
polysytrene foam (Styrofoam) products, nonrecyclable plastic, plastic straws, and plastic stirrers. 

  • NEW Effective December 15, 2018: Banned the sale and use of all plastic straws and stirrers by retail establishments, food providers, or transient lodging establishments. Non-plastic alternative straws and stirrers shall only be provided upon request by the customer.
  • NEW Effective December 15, 2018: Adds utensils and lids to the list of disposable food wares which must be recyclable or compostable.
  • Effective as of 2013: Prohibits the retail sale of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) food ware products - including but not limited to cups, plates, bowls, coolers, and clamshells.
  • Effective as of 2010: Prohibits the distribution of polystyrene foam food ware (Styrofoam) by restaurants and other food providers. A food provider may charge a "take out fee" to customers to cover the cost difference.
Best, Great, Not Allowed

City Council Documents

Food Ware Ordinance 

Staff Report from May 1, 2018 City Council Meeting 

Staff Report from May 15, 2018 City Council Meeting

Coastal Cleanup Day Data from Shimada Friendship Park 2011-2017

Staff Contact 

Samantha Carr 
Management Analyst
(510) 620-6512


  1. Republic Services
  2. Richmond's Revolving Loan Fund

Republic Services is Richmond's solid waste hauler. For questions about what is accepted in the recycling and compost bins or to start composting pick-up services, please contact Republic Services at (510) 262-7100 or visit their website,