Foodware Requirements

food truck

What Do These Changes Mean for Colma?

All restaurants, catering, food trucks, and other food establishments need to make sure their foodware meets new sustainability requirements. For example, not giving out plastic straws, not using polystyrene, and other requirements. Colma is working with the County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability who will enforce new requirements.

Why is Colma and Other Cities Requiring These Changes?

Every year, one million pounds of trash goes into storm drains, waterways, and the San Francisco Bay!  And 80% of this trash is single-use plastic waste like plastic straws, bags, plastic containers. Reducing this plastic waste at the source will reduce this damaging pollution.

What Are The Changes Colma’s Food Establishments Need to Make?

Below are the details and a graphic to understand the requirements

  1. No plastics straws, containers, cups - Only use biodegradable (BPI) fiber-based
  2. Eliminate disposable food service ware that’s not reusable or compostable
  3. No Polystyrene and only provide food utensils upon request

When Are Food Establishments Required to Make This Change?

Education and outreach is happening now and allows food establishments to use their current materials.

Enforcement begins March 2022 by the County of San Mateo.

Where Can I Buy the Correct Foodware?  

A purchasing guide for acceptable disposable items and are certified by the non-profit, Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is available at acceptable disposable and reusable foodware.

Where Can I Get Free Education and Outreach Materials For My Staff and Customers so They Know About These New Requirements?

Free training information is available at Foodware Aware Program website 

Where Can I Get Free Help to Meet These Requirements?   

Free assistance is available 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 that are interested in switching from disposable to reusable foodware! Contact the Foodware Aware Team for additional information: and phone 888-442-2666

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