Alameda's Disposable Food Ware Ordinance



In the Fall of 2017, the Alameda City Council took a giant step toward reducing plastic litter in our environment by passing the


Alameda Disposable Food Service Ware Reduction Law


This ordinance revision occurred as a result of an overwhelming public request of City Council, especially from the students of the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), to reduce the number of single-use plastics generated within the City of Alameda.  These plastics are rapidly polluting the San Francisco Bay, the ocean, and are destroying precious marine life as tiny plastics mimic food in the natural environment. 


Beginning January 1, 2018:

  • Straws-on-request: Single-use plastic straws must be replaced with compostable fiber (paper/bamboo) straws, and these straws should be provided only upon request of the customer.
  • Encouraging businesses, customers and friends to go reusable will always be better for the environment.
  • When a reusable option is not available nor convenient, Alameda food vendors will begin providing compostable, fiber-based packaging for to-go items.

By finding new ways to reduce to-go packaging, Alamedans are ensuring fewer straws and other single-use disposable items will become litter on our beaches and streets and are reducing tons going to the landfill.


Other items of note:

  • If it looks or feels like plastic - it is not compostable in Alameda's system. 
  • If the disposable food ware is clean aluminum, like the foil wrapper on your burrito, that material is easily recyclable and exempt under the new law.

Need tips for how to be in compliance?  Please call 510-747-7900 for assistance. The downloadable materials below include more details about the ordinance.


Report the use of Straws and Plastic Food Service Ware in a business or agency in the City of Alameda here.

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