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Resources for Businesses

Buying Alternative Products:

Ask your sales food-packaging representative for information about acceptable containers. Suggested options include Aluminum, paper, or recyclable plastics (#1, #2, #5). If they do not carry them, request that they begin doing so or look for other suppliers using the resources below.

Recommended Acceptable Alternatives:

Aluminum Aluminum is one of the most recycled -- and most recyclable -- materials on the market today because it can be recycled over and over again.
Paper Paper products such as cups are typically recyclable if free from food waste. While plates and other more food-contaminated products would still have to be placed in your refuse bin.
Recyclable Plastics

Recyclable plastics can be identified by the symbols - #1, #2, #5, PETE, PET and are recyclable when free from food waste.


Acceptable but NOT Recommended

These containers comply with the ordinance, however they cannot be recycled or composted in the City residential collection program. These materials still need to be put in your trash containers.

Plant-Based Materials

The most common plant based products are made of either wheatgrass or bagasse. These materials still need to be placed in your refuse bin and therefore we recommend a recyclable alternative.
Coated Paper While many coated paper products are compostable, many are coated with material that prohibits it from being recycled. These materials still need to be placed in your refuse bin and therefore we recommend a recyclable alternative.


Prohibited Materials

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Commonly referred to as Styrofoam™, EPS foam is made from petroleum-based plastic polymer made from styrene. EPS is lightweight and consists of 95% air. 
Rigid Polystyrene (#6) Rigid Polystyrene is a non-expanded form of polystyrene plastic that is thin and rigid and marked with a #6 or PS 6.
Non-Recyclable and Non-Compostable Materials  Non-recyclable plastics include any plastic marked by a number other than 1, 2, or 5. It also refers to unmarked plastics or composite plastics, made of an unknown blend of plastic materials.


Where to Buy Acceptable Alternative Packaging

Online Retailers:

Business Co-Op for discounted purchasing:

Also, for a comprehensive list of supply companies, including local California suppliers, check out this list from the City of Santa Monica.

Other Tips to Keep Your Business Foam Free

Benefits of using Reusables over Disposables for Dine-In Service

  • Saves Money: Reusable serviceware can be used thousands of times, saving money over time.
  • Reduces Environmental Impact: Disposable packaging uses a tremendous amount of resources to create and causes litter, using reusable serviceware cuts down on the impact of disposables.
  • Attracts New Customers: Reusable serviceware provides a better presentation of food, allows brand recognition, and attracts customers by representing environmental conservation in their community.

Encourage Customers to “Bring Your Own”

  • Bring Your Own Mug/Cup: Get customers engaged with going green and increase their loyalty by offering a discount when they bring their own cups. 
  • Bring Your Own To-Go Container: Encourage the use of reusable to-go containers for leftover food by offering a discount or offering purchasable reusable to-go containers with your restaurant’s logo. 
  • Bring Your Own Straw: Reusable straws are a great way to avoid the excess waste of straws and by encouraging customers to bring their own you will avoid the restrictions on straws in the ordinance, cut costs, and help the environment.

Timeline for Ordinance Compliance

The ordinance will be issued on May 24th, 2018. It will then take effect in three phases.
+Learn more on our EPS Ordinance FAQs page