Reduction of Waste from Single-Use Articles and
Expanded Polystyrene Products Ordinance Clean LA logo

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Ordinance begin?

June 1, 2022

  • Food facilities shall not automatically provide single use foodware accessories unless requested by the customer.
  • Full-service restaurants must use multiservice utensils.
  • Online food-ordering platforms must provide food facilities with a way to allow users to choose from available foodware accessories or else include a statement on the platform informing users that the food facility does not provide single use foodware accessories.

May 1, 2023

  • Food facilities start to provide single use articles that are only either compostable or recyclable.
  • Retail establishments shall not sell, rent, or offer expanded polystyrene products to customers.

What food facilities and stores must comply with the ordinance?

Businesses located within the unincorporated areas of L.A. County

How can I determine if my business is affected by the ordinance?

The best way is to enter the business address into this website, click on the correct address in the list of resulting addresses found, and look for "Unincorporated" in the resulting address report list. Note: do not enter any directional prefixes to the street names (such as: N, North, S, South, etc.), or street identifiers (such as: Boulevard, Blvd., Avenue, Ave., Street, St., etc.)

How does my store comply with the Ordinance?

Cease offering customers products made of expanded polystyrene (aka Styrofoam®), unless it is encased in durable material. Products include, but are not limited to, food and beverage containers such as plates, bowls, and cups, utensils such as forks and spoons, pool toys, and coolers.

How do food facilities within my store comply with the Ordinance?

See Food Facilities page

How does this ordinance impact vending machines?

The requirement to use single use foodware that is only compostable or recyclable does not apply to single use articles that are included with ready-to-eat food that is pre-packaged, provided that such ready-to-eat food is offered as originally packaged. Nothing in the LA County Ordinance prohibits food facilities from providing single use foodware accessories that are included as part of a product that is pre-packaged by a manufacturer, such as a juice box or pre-packaged salad.

Are prohibited products sold online exempt?

Online offering of products shipped from store locations within the unincorporated areas are to exclude expanded polystyrene products.

Is the use of expanded polystyrene for packaging raw meat, poultry and seafood on-site exempt?

Stores within the unincorporated areas of the County are prohibited from using expanded polystyrene for packaging raw meat, poultry and seafood onsite.

Who is responsible for enforcement of the ordinance?

Los Angeles County Public Works has primary responsibility for enforcement. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health may assist with this enforcement responsibility by entering the premises of a food facility as part of their regular inspection function, so as to monitor compliance by reporting any alleged violations.

Will Public Health provide violation notices to businesses?

Los Angeles County Public Works will conduct enforcement activities, which includes issuing violation notices after reviewing reports by Public Health and the general public.

Will we have more onsite inspections by multiple agencies?

For issuing violation notices, no further onsite inspections will be conducted in addition to Public Health inspection visits with complete reported information. Public Works or their consultants may conduct onsite visits to provide education and technical assistance to businesses.

What is required as far as record keeping?

Records of purchases to show compliance, in either written or electronic form, retained for a period of three (3) years. They shall be made available for inspection at the request of Public Works or Public Health.

What are the penalties and fines for Ordinance violations?

  • Written warning notice
  • Food facility fine is one hundred dollars ($100) for each day of violation, up to a maximum fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year
  • Third-party online food-ordering business fine is one hundred dollars ($100) for the first day of violation and up to two hundred dollars ($200) for each additional day of violation
  • Any person that violates any provision of this Chapter may be subject to a civil action, including, but not limited to, an injunction, and shall be liable for a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day of violation

Can written warnings and fines be disputed or appealed?

A business operator who receives a written warning notice or fine may request an administrative review of the accuracy of the determination or the propriety of any fine issued, by filing a written notice of appeal with the Director of Public Works no later than 30 days after receipt of a written warning notice or fine, as applicable.

The notice of appeal must include all facts supporting the appeal and any statements and evidence, including copies of all written documentation and a list of any witnesses that the appellant wishes to be considered in connection with the appeal.

The appeal will be heard by a hearing officer designated by the Director of Public Works. The hearing officer will conduct a hearing concerning the appeal within 45 days from the date that the notice of appeal is filed, or on a later date if agreed upon by the appellant and the County, and will give the appellant 10 days prior written notice of the date of the hearing.

The hearing officer may sustain, rescind, or modify the written warning notice or fine, as applicable, by written decision. The hearing officer will have the power to waive any portion of the fine in a manner consistent with the decision. The decision of the hearing officer is final and effective on the date of service of the written decision, is not subject to further administrative review, and constitutes the final administrative decision.


Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view (.pdf) documents.
Click on logo below to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Get Acrobat