Are there exemptions?

Yes, items that do not have suitable alternatives on the market are exempt from the requirement to be fiber-based compostable. These materials are: hot liquid containers, cold cups, cup lids, soufflé cups (small cups typically used for samples or sauces), cutlery, grocery store pack-downs (kitchen prepared sides, sauces, and additions intended to have a longer shelf life than ready-to-eat take-out), and hot bar meal trays (containers used for storing ready-to-eat hot food often found at hot bars within grocery stores). 

Any non-conforming disposable foodware item to be used in lieu of a conforming item - whether through exemption or waiver- must be recyclable through the City of Arcata recyclable collection program (plastics #1-7). In addition, businesses can request a waiver for certain materials if the owner or operator demonstrates that application of this section would create undue hardship or practical difficultly for that establishment. Waiver requests can be submitted to Arcata's Environmental Services Department at

Show All Answers

1. What is the Single-Use Disposable (SUD) Foodware Ordinance?
2. When does the Single-Use Foodware Ordinace go into effect?
3. Where do all the $0.25 charges go after they are collected by businesses?
4. Where can I find a vendor list of compliant SUD?
5. What disposable materials are compliant?
6. Why are plant based/bio plastics not compliant?
7. Is this a ban on single-use products at food establishments?
8. Is this a plastic water bottle ban?
9. Are there exemptions?
10. If someone places an order using only exempted foodware, does that order still receive a $0.25 charge?
11. What if a customer brings a reusable container for part of their order and uses disposables for the rest of their order?
12. What businesses are impacted by the ordinance?
13. What are the requirements for reusable foodware?
14. Does the health code allow for customers to bring their own container for take-out?
15. What if the container brought by the customer does not seem suitable for use?