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Napa County News

Posted on: February 12, 2024

Draft Reusable Food Ware and Waste Reduction Ordinance released for public comment

The Napa County Climate Action Committee (CAC) is inviting public feedback on a draft ordinance aimed at phasing out the use of polystyrene food ware and single-use plastic food ware, and instead mandating the use of reusable or compostable alternatives provided by food vendors. 

Established in 2021 by the County of Napa, along with the Cities of American Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, and St. Helena and the Town of Yountville, the CAC focuses on coordinated actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. 

As a part of its ongoing efforts, the CAC directed staff to prepare a draft ordinance that would extend to food sellers, including businesses, nonprofits, organizations, entities, groups, or individuals offering prepared food for retail consumption. These sellers would be required to utilize reusable or compostable items, such as containers, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, cups, lids, straws, stirrers, utensils, napkins, condiment cups and packets, cocktail picks, toothpicks, cup sleeves, tops, food wrappers, beverage trays, tray-liners and plate-liners. 

This initiative aligns with similar regulations already implemented in over 60 cities and counties across California, including the City of Calistoga and two dozen jurisdictions in the Bay Area. Its primary objectives are to diminish the consumption of fossil fuel-derived products, decrease waste directed to local landfills, and contribute to climate change mitigation efforts. 

The proposed ordinance will be considered by the CAC during their regular meeting on February 23, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors chambers located at 1195 Third Street in Napa. Should the CAC endorse the ordinance, it may be considered for adoption by the County Board of Supervisors and respective City/Town Councils at future public hearings. 

The draft ordinance can be found on the Planning, Building, and Environmental Services web page. For questions or comments regarding the draft ordinance, please contact David Morrison, special projects director, at [email protected].

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