San Mateo

San Mateo City Leaders to Hear Proposed Ban on Plastic Disposables for Food

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The city of San Mateo will on Tuesday introduce an ordinance banning plastic disposables at restaurants in the city.

Tuesday's City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at 330 W. 20th Ave. in San Mateo. One of the discussion items is a "Disposable Food Service Ware" ordinance to regulate the use of disposable wares by food facilities in the city.

The city's ordinance is modeled after San Mateo County's ordinance, which applies to unincorporated areas of the county. Adopted in February 2020, the county ordinance requires food facilities to use compostable, non-plastic plates, bowls, cups, straws and other food-service products or containers. These products can be made of compostable materials like paper, sugarcane, wood or bamboo.

Enforcement has not yet begun for the county ordinance. Initially, the county planned to enforce the ordinance starting March 2021 but will consider delaying enforcement to March 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individual cities can choose to adopt the county's ordinance, also with delayed enforcement.

The cities of Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, Half Moon Bay and South San Francisco have already adopted the county ordinance as a model, with most opting for enforcement beginning 2022.

The city of San Mateo will consider a later enforcement date, October 2022, to allow extra time for businesses to test products and receive county resources to comply with the ordinance.

Tuesday's meeting is accessible by Zoom, or people can join by phone at (408) 638-0968. The Conference ID is 886 2229 6836 and the passcode is 879281. The meeting will also be broadcast live on Channel San Mateo and livestreamed on YouTube.

Download the meeting agenda and packet or find broadcast links here.

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