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

Food Ware Ordinance Background

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 will be provided upon request.
  • 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

Richmond's Food Ware Workshop for Richmond Businesses- Tuesday, October 30th

The City of Richmond in partnership with Richmond's Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting a workshop for Richmond businesses about the amended Food Ware Ordinance on Tuesday, October 30th from 10 AM to 11 AM. The workshop will include an overview of the ordinance, a recycling and compost presentation from Republic Services, and food ware vendors will be available to discuss products. 

The Richmond City Council updated the city's Food Ware Ordinance in May 2018 and amended the ordinance banning the use and sale of plastic straws and stirrers. Non-plastic alternative straws will be provided to customers upon request. In addition, utensils and lids were added to the list of disposable food ware that must be recyclable or compostable. 

RSVP to the event by visiting or calling (510) 620-5407

City Council Documents

Food Ware Ordinance 

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,