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MORE QUESTIONS? Call the Public Works Department at 650-616-7065



Better for you, your customers, and the environmentPolystyrene Ban

The new City law to ban polystyrene and other disposable items starts April 1, 2010. Only reusable, recyclable or biodegradable materials will be allowed.

You can benefit by getting an early start! Find out how by calling 650-292-9590.

Who has to follow the Ordinance?
All San Bruno food vendors selling prepared food including but not limited to restaurants, cafes, delis, fast-food establishments, food trucks, and City Facilities.

What does the Ordinance prohibit?
Foam and solid polystyrene food service ware as listed in the Ordinance, ncluding but not limited to containers, bowls, plates, cups, lids, straws, and utensils with the symbol listed on the products. Also included are plastic straws and utensils, which need to be compostable or biodegradable.
Ask your supplier if you are unsure if your products are polystyrene.

What is wrong with polystyrene food service ware?
It is not recyclable.
It is a common item that is littered on streets that ends up in storm drains, on beaches, and in the Bay and Ocean.
It breaks down into smaller pieces that may be ingested by wildlife resulting in reduced appetite, reduced nutrient absorption, and starvation.
It contains hazardous chemicals that may leach from polystyrene containers into food and drink.

Poly BanWhat does the Ordinance require?
The use of biodegradable, compostable, reusable, or recyclable food service ware.
The use of biodegradable or compostable utensils and straws.
Acceptable Products: Aluminum, plastics (no black) coded with recyclable 1, 2, 4, or 5, uncoated or coated paper, cardboard and plastics made from corn, potatoes, sugar or other plant based products.
Some examples of acceptable products are shown below:

What are the penalties for non-compliance?
Violations may result in fines according to the Municipal Code:
1st = warning, 2nd = $100, 3rd = $200, 4th = $500.
Enforcement is by the City of San Bruno, not the County Health Inspector.

What can my business do to reduce food service ware costs?
Allow and encourage customers to bring their own mugs to buy drinks.
Charge a “take out fee” to cover the cost difference.
Use reusable dishes and cups instead of disposable ones for “eat-in” customers.

Click here to view the polystyrene postcard.
Click here to view the text of the ordinance.
Click here to view the Council's resolution.
Click here to view the notice of exemption.
Click here to view a list of Sustainable Food Service Ware Distributors.