“Every year in the United States, an estimated 561 billion disposable foodware items are used, resulting in a whopping 4.9 million tons of waste. Unused food accessories including utensils, straws, napkins, condiment packages, and otherwise clog landfills, complicate recycling, and pollute streets and waterways in our communities.”
Assembly Bill (AB) 1276, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, changes the Public Resource Code in the area of single-use food accessories and standard condiments. This is an addition to the single-use plastic straws law and went into effect January 1, 2022.
AB 1276 prohibits a food facility from providing any single-use foodware accessory or standard condiment, as defined, to a consumer unless requested by the consumer, as provided. The bill also prohibits those items from being bundled or packaged in a way that prohibits the consumer from taking only the item desired. The bill authorizes a food facility to ask a drive-through consumer, or a food facility located within a public airport to ask a walk-through consumer, if the consumer wants a single-use foodware accessory (in specified circumstances). The bill requires a food facility using a third-party food delivery platform to list on its menu the availability of single-use foodware accessories and standard condiments and only provide those items when requested, as provided.
AB 1276 requires a city, county, or city and county, on or before June 1, 2022, to authorize an enforcement agency to enforce these requirements. The bill specifies the first and 2nd violations of these provisions result in a notice of violation, and any subsequent violation is an infraction punishable by a fine of $25 for each day in violation, but not to exceed an annual total of $300. By creating a new crime and imposing additional duties on local governing bodies, this bill imposes a state-mandated local program.