August 2012

On Tuesday, August 28th the Menlo Park City Council adopted San Mateo County’s Polystyrene Food Ware Ordinance. The ordinance applies to all food vendors in the City starting on November 1, 2012.

The ordinance prohibits restaurants, delis, cafes, markets, fast-food establishments, vendors at fairs, and food trucks from dispensing prepared food in polystyrene containers. Polystyrene containers can be identified as Styrofoam products and harder type plastics that are labeled number six.

The ordinance does not:

  • Prohibit the use of polystyrene for pre-packaged foods (e.g., pre-packaged meats or eggs in markets)
  • Apply to non-food businesses that use polystyrene for packaging
  • Include polystyrene lids, straws, or utensils

The Federal Clean Water Act requires the City of Menlo Park to reduce the litter contaminating storm drains and waterways by 40% by 2014. “The Polystyrene Food Ware Ordinance is a cost-effective way to comply with these regulations while protecting wildlife and habitat, and reducing waste sent to the landfill,” said Rebecca Fotu, Environmental Programs Manager for the City.

FAQs and information on alternative food ware products can be found online.

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