Styrofoam Ban

Most polystyrene foam products (including food service ware) will be prohibited from distribution in the City of San Diego, and prohibited from use on City property, including parks and beaches. Additionally, plastic and bio-plastic straws and utensils may only be distributed to customers upon request. Make sure your business is prepared and that your staff members are trained.

The City of San Diego’s Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance goes into effect April 1, 2023. In summary: 

  • Most polystyrene foam containers are prohibited from distribution and sale. This includes food service ware such as bowls, plates, trays, cups, lids, and other similar items, as well as egg cartons and meat trays.
  • Single-use plastic (and bio-plastic) straws and utensils may only be provided upon the request of the customer.
  • The following may not be distributed if made from polystyrene foam unless encased within another material:
    • Coolers, ice chests, or similar containers.
    • Pool or beach toys.
    • Dock floats, mooring buoys, or anchor or navigation markers.
  • All polystyrene foam products are prohibited from City facilities (including parks and beaches).

NOTE: Waivers are available for feasibility-based hardships, financial hardships and contractual requirements. There is an automatic waiver through March 31, 2024 for entities with gross income less than $500,000 on most recent federal income tax filing. To apply for a waiver, please email [email protected].

The City of San Diego has multilingual resources available to help businesses comply with the Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance that goes into effect April 1, 2023.

Please check their web page for a downloadable poster and table tentto help businesses inform their customers about the new law. Other resources, including a list of polystyrene alternatives, can be found there as well.

Questions? Please email us at [email protected]