Disposable Food Service Ware

foodwareawarelogoOn May 4, 2020, the City of Burlingame adopted an ordinance that references the County of San Mateo's (County) Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance (Ordinance). This Ordinance aims to regulate and reduce the amount of plastic disposable foodware that is used and distributed in Burlingame and to encourage the use of reusable alternatives.

*NEW*: Due to the rise of COVID cases, new state requirements, and supply chain issues, the compliance start date has been postponed to October 1, 2022 to provide more time for food facilities to comply with these requirements. This Ordinance will be enforced  by the County of San Mateo's Office of Sustainability, in partnership with the City.

The objectives of the Ordinance are to:
 - Reduce waste by eliminating disposable foodware that is not reusable or compostable;
 - Improve the health and safety of community members; and
 - Help keep our waterways clean and safe.

Key elements of the Ordinance include requiring:
1. Most disposable foodware to be non-plastic, fiber-based, and compostable;
2. Larger disposable foodware items such as bowls, plates, and clamshells to have little/no harmful fluorinated chemicals; and
3. The distribution of disposable foodware accessories should be upon request only, at self-serve areas, and/or when a consumer accepts an offer by the food operator.


Resources Available to Impacted Food Facilities
FAQs, a purchasing guide for acceptable disposable items, outreach materials (e.g., tent cards, employee guide, etc.), and other resources for food facilities are available at the County of San Mateo’s Foodware Aware Program website

Free technical assistance is available for food facilities to help meet the requirements of the Ordinance as well as go beyond the requirements and switch to reusable foodware. Up to $300 is available for food facilities who are interested in switching from disposable to reusable foodware!

Please contact the Foodware Aware Team for additional information:
 - Email foodware@smcgov.org
 - Hotline 888-442-2666