Green: Single-Use, Recyclable or Compostable Foodware (Bags, Cold Cups, Cutlery, Containers, Stir Sticks, Napkins) With No Toxic Fluorinated Chemicals

According to the 2019 Single-Use Foodware Plastics, Toxics and Litter Reduction Ordinance, the following single-use food and beverage accessories may be made available only upon request or in a self-service area: condiment packages and portion cups, cup lids and sleeves, cutlery,  drink stirrers and plugs, and napkins. Event producers who provide prepared beverages to more than 100 attendees on City property are required to promote or provide reusable beverage containers to at least 10% of attendees. 

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Consumer, Industrial

Info on this product category: Foodware

Why Go Green

Foodware on this webpage does not contain polystyrene (Styrofoam) or bisphenol-A (BPA).  Polystyrene is not recyclable and its monomer, styrene, is a known carcinogen.  BPA exposure in small amounts has been linked to cancer, asthma, obesity, attention deficit disorder, altered development of the brain and immune system, low birth weight and lowered sperm counts.

Center for Environmental Health tested compostablesingle-use foodware listed above as "green" to ensure they have no toxic fluorinated chemicals (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)).  PFAS:

Citywide contracted single-use foodware must not have PFAS or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  PVC usually has phthalates (some of which disrupt our hormones and probably causes cancer), and sometimes has lead (which can cause reproductive problems and nerve disorders), and when PVC is made or disposed, it releases cancer-causing dioxins. 


In San Francisco, compost and recycle:

  • Paper cups and ice cream containers go in blue recycling bins.  Other paper foodware (e.g., plates, boxes, napkins) that touched food go in green compost bins.
  • Plastic (e.g., bags, food wrap, containers) and metal go in blue recycling bins.
  • Plastic that says "compostable" and "certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute" go in green compost bins.  

Criteria for Foodware

Last updated

Last updated: 
September 25, 2019

Guide for City Staff

Citywide Contract

Special Purchasing Instructions

See discounted prices in the most recent Disposable Food Containers, Utensils and Service Items Contract award


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