Richmond's Food Ware Ordinance

Best, Great, Not Allowed

Food Ware Ordinance

 NEW Addition Effective December 15, 2018: 
  • Food Providers, Retail Establishments, and Transient Lodging Establishments (ex: hotels, motels) cannot use, sell or distribute plastic straws and stirrers.
  • Food Providers can provided non-plastic alternative straws and stirrers to customer upon request only.
  • All Food Providers using disposable food ware to provide prepared food to customers must use disposable food ware that is either recyclable or compostable. Reusable food ware is encouraged when possible.
Effective Since 2014:
  • Retail Establishments (ex: grocery stores, hardware stores, markets, etc) cannot sell or rent products comprised entirely or primarily of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam).
  • Food Providers must use disposable food ware (ex: to-go containers, cups, bowls, plates, etc) that is recyclable or compostable. Reusable food ware encouraged when possible. 
  • A Food Provider (ex: cafes, restaurants, food trucks, etc) 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.
  1. Samantha Carr

    Environmental Manager

Stay Informed!

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City Council Documents

Richmond Municipal Code Food Ware Ordinance

Staff Report from May 15, 2018 City Council Meeting 

Coastal Cleanup Day Data from Shimada Friendship Park 2011-2017

Paper straws
  1. Food Ware Ordinance Guide: English
  2. Food Ware Ordinance Guide: Spanish
  3. Straw Distributor List
  4. Recycle and Compost guides
  5. Richmond's Revolving Loan Fund
Brochure Straw Final 11-16-18- English_Page_1

California State Law AB 1884

On January 1, 2019, the State of California Assembly Bill 1884 will go into effect banning full-service restaurants from giving out single-use plastic straws to customers unless requested by the customer. 

More information about AB 1884 can be found at


Postcard notices were mailed out to Richmond Business in the beginning of October. Not all businesses that received 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

Postcard front edited
Postcard Back