Richmond's Food Ware Ordinance

The City of Richmond Food Ware Ordinance prohibits the sale and use of polysytrene foam (Styrofoam) products, plastic straws, and plastic stirrers. The Food Ware Ordinance helps keep polystyrene foam and small plastics out of our streets, storm drains, and bodies of water. 

July 1, 2010, Food Ware Ordinance prohibits the distribution of polystyrene foam food ware (Styrofoam) by restaurants and other food providers. 

July 16, 2013, the City of Richmond expanded the Food Ware Ordinance to:

  • Prohibit the retail sale of polystyrene foam products - polystyrene foam cups, bowls, coolers, and other products will not be allowed to be sold in stores
  • Six months after the effective date of the ordinance, call for an immediate fine to the business owner in violation of the ordinance (the current ordinance provides for a warning and 30 days to cease distribution of polystyrene foam food ware before a fine is issued)
May 15, 2018, the Food Ware Ordinance is amended to:

  • Prohibit the sale and use of all plastic straws and stirrers by retail establishments, food providers, or transient lodging establishments.
  • Adds utensils and lids to the list of disposable food wares which must be recyclable or compostable.
  • Businesses have six months after the effective date of the ordinance to be in compliance.

Revisions to the Food Ware Ordinance

 View the Food Ware Ordinance.


Please contact the City Manager's Office at (510) 620-6512 for questions about the Food Ware Ordinance.


For questions about what is recyclable or compostable, please contact Republic Services at (510) 262- 7100 or visit their website,