Compostable Products

The Burien City Council passed Ordinance 709 on February 3, 2020 banning the use and sale of plastic food service products. All food service business must use and provide compostable food service products starting January 1, 2021.

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, or be made of natural fiber (such as paper or wood).
  • 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.

  • Food service products: a product designed for single use on or in which any raw, prepared or cooked foods or beverages are placed or packaged or intended to be placed or packaged and are designed for a single use, including but not limited to containers, plates, bowls, cups, trays, cartons, lids, meat trays, deli rounds, knives, forks, spoons, splash sticks, stirrers, utensils, portion cups, cocktail picks, chopsticks, clamshells and other hinged or lidded containers.
  • Prepackaged foods: food service products that have been filled with food and sealed by a separate food service business or food manufacturer prior to receipt by the point of sale food service business.
  • One year waiver: The City Manager may grant renewable one-year waivers from the ordinance for a specific food service product upon sufficient proof that the business would undergo undue hardship as a result of this ordinance.
Resources for Business
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Frequently Asked Questions
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