Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 15A. Management of Disposable Food Service Ware.


§ 8–1531. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Accessory disposable food service ware" means any disposable food service ware, including straws, utensils, condiment cups and packets, cup sleeves, and napkins, that is not used to hold or contain food.

(1A) "Compostable" means:

(A) Made solely of materials that break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost in a safe and timely manner in an appropriate program; and

(B) Once the Mayor has published the list of compostable materials described in § 8-1031.03(b), identified on that list;

(1B) "Disposable food service ware" means containers, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, cups, lids, straws, forks, spoons, knives, napkins, and other items that are designed for one-time use for beverages, prepared food, or leftovers from meals prepared by a food service entity. The term "disposable food service ware" shall not include items composed entirely of aluminum.

(2) "Expanded polystyrene" means blown polystyrene and expanded and extruded foams that are thermoplastic petrochemical materials utilizing a styrene monomer and processed by a number of techniques, including fusion of polymer spheres (expandable bead polystyrene), injection molding, foam molding, and extrusion-blow molding (extruded foam polystyrene).

(2A) "Expanded polystyrene container" means a container, such as a cooler or ice chest, made of expanded polystyrene that is not wholly encapsulated or encased within a more durable material.

(3) "Expanded polystyrene food service products" means food containers, plates, hot and cold beverage cups, meat and vegetable trays, egg cartons, and other products made of expanded polystyrene and used for selling or providing food.

(3A) "Expanded polystyrene packing material" means material, such as packing peanuts, made of expanded polystyrene used to hold, cushion, or protect items packed in a container for shipping, transport, or storage.

(4) "Food service entity" means full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, fast food restaurants, cafes, delicatessens, coffee shops, supermarkets, grocery stores, vending trucks or carts, food trucks, cafeterias, including those operated by or on behalf of District departments and agencies, and other entities selling or providing food within the District for consumption on or off the premises.

(5) "Recyclable" means made solely of materials that can be recycled using the District's recycling collection program and identified on the list of recyclable materials described in § 8-1031.03(b).

(6) "Retailer" means a person engaged in retail sales in the District.

(7) "Reusable food service ware" means containers, bowls, plates, trays, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, takeout containers, and other items used to contain and consume beverages and prepared food that are manufactured and designed to be washed and sanitized and used repeatedly over an extended period of time.

(8) "Third-party food ordering platform" means any website, mobile application, or other internet service that offers or arranges for the sale of food and beverages prepared by, and the delivery or pickup of food and beverages from, food service entities.

(9) "Third-party reusable food service ware providers" means entities that provide washed and sanitized reusable food service ware to food service entities for their use, either in packaging takeout or delivery orders or for on-site dining, and then recuperate the food service ware after use by customers for commercial wash and sanitation before providing the reusable food service ware for subsequent use by food service entities.


(Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 401, 61 DCR 8045; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(a), 62 DCR 10905; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6034, 63 DCR 10775; Apr. 16, 2020, D.C. Law 23-76, § 2(a), 67 DCR 2488; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-211, § 3(a), 68 DCR 00068.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 substituted “prepared by a food service entity” for “prepared by a food service business” in (1); in (4), substituted “entity” for “business,” substituted “cafeterias” for “business or institutional cafeterias,” and substituted “and other entities” for “and other businesses”; and added (5).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6172(a) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(f) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that §§ 401, 402, and 406 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1532. Prohibition on use of expanded polystyrene food service products.

(a)(1) By January 1, 2016, no food service entity shall sell or provide food in expanded polystyrene food service products, regardless of where the food will be consumed.

(2) By January 1, 2021, no retailer shall sell or offer for sale an expanded polystyrene food service product, expanded polystyrene container, or expanded polystyrene packing material.

(b) Subsection (a)(1) of this section shall not apply to food or beverages that were filled and sealed in expanded polystyrene containers before a food service entity received them or to materials used to package raw, uncooked, or butchered meat, fish, poultry, or seafood for off- premises consumption.


(Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 402, 61 DCR 8045; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(b), 62 DCR 10905; Apr. 16, 2020, D.C. Law 23-76, § 2(b), 67 DCR 2488.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 substituted “entity” for “business” in (a) and (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6172(b) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(f) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that §§ 401, 402, and 406 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1533. Compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware required.

(a) A District facility, agency, and department using disposable food service ware shall use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware; provided, that disposable food service ware supplies already purchased as of December 17, 2014 may be used until the supplies are exhausted or until January 1, 2017, including disposable food service ware supplies that the District is obligated to purchase under any contracts in force as of December 17, 2014.

(b) A District contractor and lessee using disposable food service ware shall use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware; provided, that disposable food service ware supplies already purchased as of December 17, 2014 may be used until the supplies are exhausted or until January 1, 2017, including disposable food service ware supplies that the District contractor or lessee is obligated to purchase under any contracts in force on December 17, 2014.

(c) By January 1, 2017, no food service entity shall sell or provide food or beverages, for consumption on or off premises, in disposable food service ware unless the disposable food service ware is compostable or recyclable; provided, that this subsection shall not apply to prepackaged food or beverages that were filled and sealed outside of the District before a food service entity received them.

(d) Food service entities may use reusable food service ware, including food service ware provided by a third-party reusable food service ware provider, in serving on-site, takeout, and delivery customers.

(e)(1) Not Funded.

(2) Not Funded.

(3) By July 1, 2021, third-party food ordering platforms shall provide customers the ability to affirmatively request accessory disposable food service ware, including the ability to select the specific items they need.

(f) Not Funded.


(Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 403, 61 DCR 8045; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(c), 62 DCR 10905; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-211, § 3(b), 68 DCR 00068.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 substituted “shall use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware” for “shall use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware unless there is no suitable affordable or compostable or recyclable product available as determined by the Mayor in accordance with this chapter” in (a) and (b); and substituted “entity” for “business” twice in (c).

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 23-211: § 6 of D.C. Law 23-211 provided that the creation of subsections (e)(1) and (2) and (f) of this section by § 3(b) of D.C. Law 23-211 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 20-142, § 502(g), see § 6172(g) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6172(c) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(g) of D.C. Law 20-142, as amended by D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(g), provided that §§ 403 and 404 of the act shall apply as of October 1, 2015.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(g) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that §§ 403 to 405 of the act shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.


§ 8–1534. Recyclable and compostable food service ware list.

No later than 180 days after December 17, 2014, the Mayor shall make public a list of vendors offering compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware products. The Mayor shall update this list annually for at least 5 years after it is first published.


(Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 404, 61 DCR 8045; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(d), 62 DCR 10905.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 substituted “vendors offering compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware products” for “vendors offering affordable compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware products.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of D.C. Law 20-142, § 502(g), see § 6172(g) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6172(d) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(g) of D.C. Law 20-142, as amended by D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(g), provided that §§ 403 and 404 of the act shall apply as of October 1, 2015.


§ 8–1535. Exemptions and waiver. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 405, 61 DCR 8045; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(e), 62 DCR 10905.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of this section, see § 6172(e) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of this section, see § 6172(e) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(g) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that §§ 403 to 405 of the act shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(g) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that §§ 403 to 405 of the act shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.


§ 8–1536. Evaluation of food service ware litter in the Anacostia River.

By January 1, 2016, the Mayor shall conduct a study evaluating the amount and types of trash found in the Anacostia River, including polystyrene foam, and submit findings to the Council.


(Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 406, 61 DCR 8045.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(f) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that §§ 401, 402, and 406 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1537. Rules; enforcement.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.

(b) Civil fines and penalties may be imposed as sanctions for an infraction of the provisions of this chapter or any rules issued under the authority of this chapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 ("Civil Infractions Act"). Enforcement and adjudication of an infraction shall be pursuant to the Civil Infractions Act.

(c) In addition to the enforcement authority provided to the Mayor under the Civil Infractions Act, the Mayor may seek injunctive relief or other appropriate remedy in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(d)(1) For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter, or any rule issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Mayor may, upon the presentation of appropriate credentials to the owner, operator, or agent in charge, enter upon any public or private land in a reasonable and lawful manner during normal business hours for the purpose of sampling, inspection, and observation.

(2) If denied access to any place while carrying out the activities described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Mayor may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for a search warrant.


(Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 407, 61 DCR 8045; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6172(f), 62 DCR 10905.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6172(f) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).