Food packaging regulations


Rules and Regulations​

Municipal Code Chapter 8.68 requires all restaurants and food vendors operating in the City to utilize compostable or recyclable options for disposable food packaging and food ware. Straws and utensils shall only be provided upon request.

The City prohibits the use of polystyrene (labeled as no. 6 plastic).

These rules apply to restaurants, grocery stores, delis, farmers’ markets, food trucks, special events, and any other business or event where prepared food is sold for carryout or packaged for convenience.

Compostable Alternatives

Small disposable food packaging products must be switched to compostable alternatives. These include: 

  • Disposable utensils,
  • Hot beverage cups and lids,
  • Plastic-lined paper plates,
  • Plastic straws and stirrers.

We encourage our businesses to also use certified compostable food packaging for all their food packaging needs. For a list of products that carry this certification, please visit BPI’s website (

PLEASE TALK TO YOUR SUPPLIERS as many local food service suppliers have products that meet these requirements. You can refer to our compiled list of suppliers within the Monterey Bay Area.

Monterey Bay Area Food Packaging Suppliers

All restaurants and food vendors will need their suppliers to complete and maintain the Environmentally-Acceptable Food Packaging and Food Service Ware Statement to certify compliance with the City’s requirements. 

Food Packaging Statement Form

Organics Recycling

Starting January 2019, all businesses producing four (4) cubic yards or more of trash are required to compost food waste material. Contact GreenWaste Recovery at (831) 920-6707 to learn more about our recycling and food waste program options. GreenWaste Recovery offers FREE onsite technical assistance for businesses that want to participate in recycling and organics programs.