Burien (Washington, the U.S.) banning the use and sale of plastic food service products

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The Burien City Council passed Ordinance 709 on February 3, 2020 restricting the use and sale of non-compostable food serviceware products. All food service business must use and provide compostable food service products starting July 1, 2022.

This ordinance applies to all food service businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores, delis, coffee shops, food trucks, and home delivery services.

Specifically, the ordinance:

  • Requires all food serviceware and packaging to be commercially compostable. The products must meet ASTM D6400 or ASTM D6868 standards and have been certified as compostable by the Biodegradable Products Instituteor similar national or international certification authority, such as Compost Manufacturing Alliance.
  • Packaging that is made of natural fiber (such as paper or wood) is considered compliant.
  • Prohibits products such as Styrofoam take out containers, plastic lined take out containers, plastic utensils, and plastic to go cups.
  • Exemptions to the law include: prepackaged foods, catering trays, produce bags, clear food and shrink wrap, containers from uniquely shaped foods like cupcakes, hot meat item containers, straws, and items that receive a one-year waiver.


The City of Burien, Discover Burien, and Zero Waste Washington hosted a virtual webinar on March 2, 2022 about the law and how to make the switch to compostable products.

Source: burienwa.gov

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