Richmond's Food Ware Ordinance

Postcard notices were mailed out to Richmond Business in the beginning of October. Not all businesses that receive the postcard will need to comply with the ordinance. Please review the Food Ware Ordinance for further details. 

Postcard notices have been sent to businesses listed under the following business license types:

 Airbnb: Vacation Rentals   Fabricator                         
 Meat Market                
 Bakery  Food Truck
 Mini Mart
 Bars  Food Vendor
 Bingo Hall  Gas Station
 Nonprofit Org
 Bingo/Norg  Gas/Mini Mart
 Bowling Alley
 Gift Shop
 Business Services
 Governmental Agency
 Grocery Store
 Catering Service
 Health Food Store
 Catering Truck
 Specialty Shop
 Coffee Shop
 Home Based
 Vending Service
 Department Store
 Liquor Store
 Donut Shop

Best, Great, Not Allowed

Food Ware Ordinance

 NEW Addition Effective December 15, 2018: 

  • Bans the use, sale, and distribution of plastic straws and stirrers by food providers, retail establishments, and transient lodging establishments. Non-plastic alternative straws and stirrers can only be provided upon request by customer.
  • Utensils and lids were added to the list of disposable food ware for food providers that must be recyclable or compostable.
Effective Since 2014:

  • Prohibits the sale or rental of products comprised entirely or primarily of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) by retail establishments.
  • Requires all food providers using any disposable food ware for prepared food to use recyclable or compostable food ware (reusable food ware encouraged). A food provider may charge a "take out fee" to customers to cover the cost difference.

Litter 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.

City Council Documents

NEW: Food Ware Ordinance Effective December 15, 2018

CURRENT: Food Ware Ordinance Effective January 1, 2014

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. Food Ware Ordinance Guide
  2. Republic Services
  3. Richmond's Revolving Loan Fund
  4. KIVA Richmond

Food Ware Ordinance Guide

Brochure Straw Final 10-22-18_Page_1