Compostable Products Law Delayed

Compostable Food Service Product Law Now Takes Effect July 1, 2022
Posted on 05/12/2021
Food service worker places compostable clamshell takeout container into green biodegradable plastic bag.

In recognition of the profound impact COVID-19 has had on the Burien business community, the Burien City Council voted to delay the effective date of Ordinance 709 to July 1, 2022. This law restricts food service businesses in Burien from providing food and beverages in non-compostable food service products. All food service businesses within the city of Burien, including grocery stores, restaurants, home delivery services, coffee shops, and institutional cafeterias, are affected by this law.

There are some product exemptions to the ordinance. Products such as straws, produce bags, prepackaged food, and items receiving a one-year waiver do not need to be replaced with compostable alternatives.

Specifically, the compostable food service product ordinance:

  • Restricts food service businesses from selling or providing raw or prepared food and beverages in non-compostable food service products
  • Requires businesses to provide certified compostable products
  • Allows businesses to apply for a one-year waiver for a specific food service product

To help businesses with the transition to compostable food serviceware, the City of Burien and Zero Waste Washington are working with Discover Burien to establish the Burien Restaurant Co-Op, a compostable products purchasing cooperative. The Burien Restaurant Co-Op will help businesses in Burien combine purchasing power and receive lower prices from vendors on compostable products.

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