The town of Colma recently took the first step towards banning single-use plastics at restaurants and other food service places.

During its June 23 meeting, Colma’s city council voted unanimously to introduce a Sustainable Food Service Ware Ordinance, which would require food service places to only use items that are made of non-plastic, compostable materials like paper, bamboo or wood. This applies to items like plates, bowls, cups, food trays, boxes and other containers.

The ordinance also requires that accessory items like straws, stirrers, condiment packs and napkins only be provided if a customer requests them.

The ordinance mirrors the one that San Mateo County’s Board of Supervisors adopted for unincorporated areas in February 2020. Enforcement for this ordinance was supposed to begin March of this year but the county postponed enforcement to March 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If adopted at a second reading in July, Colma’s ordinance would be effective 30 days later, with enforcement also starting in 2022.

The cities of Half Moon Bay, South San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo, Atherton, Belmont, Millbrae and Brisbane have adopted similar ordinances.

More information about the town’s sustainability goals can be found on its website.

Readers may also download a copy of the proposed ordinance from the City Council’s June 23 agenda packet.