On September 12, 2023, City Council adopted an Ordinance amending Chapter 8.24 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code, Disposable Food Service Ware and Waste Reduction, to reflect challenges with implementation per feedback from the local business community, Chamber Ambassadors and City staff.
That ordinance included a key change for business owners: previously, all disposable food service ware products were required to be home compostable, but for 2024, that shifts to being a specific list of items selected with input from local businesses with regard to whether they work as well as non-home compostable versions, cost no more than 15%, and are available from multiple suppliers.
If you are wondering what “home compostable” means in the eyes of the city, it now has 3 official elements?
- Comprised of natural fiber
- Free of all intentionally added fluorinated chemicals (PFAS-free)
- Certified by BPI and/or OK Compost HOME
As a result of product testing/research by City staff and feedback obtained from the business community, 2024 Home Compostable Disposable Food Service Ware Product List, shown in the graphic below, was adopted by City Council on November 28th.
As of January 1, 2024, food retail businesses on the island are required to provide these 16 products in a home compostable form when providing disposable food service ware for to-go orders. All other disposable food service ware items are required to be compostable. Reusable food service ware is still required for all onsite dining.
Over the past 2 years, City staff has been working with the Chamber’s Business Ambassadors to update the ordinance online materials and provide resources to local retail food establishments to communicate these changes and provide information on where to find compliant products.
That program is now coming to a close, but City staff are maintaining an online resource to help answer questions from businesses and consumers, and to see a list of example products, manufacturers and distributors or to get direct support from COBI Climate Mitigation/Adaptation Officer Autumn Salamack and her team – head on over to see it at www.bainbridgewa.gov/ZeroWaste.
In addition, the Bainbridge Chamber team is always ready to help our business owners with any aspect of this City regulation – click to contact us any time.
This has been a long-running local business story – click below to read the Chamber’s coverage tracking this vital issue over the past 2 years…
Waste Reduction Ordinance 2023 Update (01/03/23)