Waste Reduction Requirements

Foodware Accessories and Condiments Upon Request

State law requires food facilities and delivery platforms to provide single-use foodware accessories and condiments upon request only. The law was established to reduce the amount of waste generated by single-use items and encourage consumers to choose reusables. Minimizing single-use foodware accessories can help businesses reduce waste and costs.

Food establishments must comply with the following:

  • Provide single-use foodware accessories to customers only upon request
  • Discontinue bundling of single-use foodware accessories or condiments
  • Customize on-line ordering and third party platforms with a list of single-use accessories and condiment options for consumer choosing
    • Only provide those items chosen by customer
  • Self-service counters may be used to provide single-use foodware accessories and condiments for customers


  • Drive-through establishments may ask customers if they want single-use foodware accessories or condiments

“Single-use foodware accessory” means all of the following:

  • Utensils (forks, knives, spoons, and sporks)
  • Chopsticks
  • Straws, stirrers & splash sticks
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Condiment cups and packets

“Condiment” means relishes, spices, sauces, confections, or seasonings that require no additional preparation and that are usually used on a food item after preparation, including ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, soy sauce, hot sauce, salsa, salt, pepper, sugar, and sugar substitutes.

Compostable Materials

All food facilities in Santa Cruz County shall provide certified compostable single-use foodware accessories.

Choose Reusable

State law allows consumers to bring their own clean, resuable food and beverage containers for takeout orders and leftovers. Following all sanitary guidelines, reusable containers can be filled by food facility staff or the customer. If restaurant offers to fill a customer’s clean container for to-go food, this container must be placed away from food contact surfaces.

Click here for information about the County of Santa Cruz Zero Waste Plan.