Single-Use Polystyrene Containers
Polystyrene carryout containers are a common form of single-use plastic and a source of litter. They are manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals and are very difficult to recycle. These containers are not biodegradable and once they are in landfills or the natural environment, they persist for hundreds of years. They may break into small pieces, which creates hazards for wildlife and challenges for clean-up efforts.
Acknowledging these concerns, Eugene City Council adopted a polystyrene ordinance effective December 27, 2019 prohibiting food providers from distributing prepared food and drink in single-use cups, bowls, plates, trays, and clamshell containers that are made from polystyrene plastic.
Businesses can apply for up to a one-year exemption until December 31, 2020. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions to learn how to apply for an exemption, as well as find other helpful information.
Single-use serviceware such as straws, utensils, stirrers and condiment packaging present problems for environmental and human health when they become litter. Acknowledging these problems, City Council passed an ordinance that places restrictions on the availability of these items. As of June 17th, 2019 retail food and beverage establishments must not provide these items unless a customer requests these items or consents to an employee including the items. The ordinance may be viewed here. Also, check out the Frequently Asked Questions.
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Bring Your Bag, Eugene!
In an effort to promote reusable shopping bags, reduce litter and other negative impacts on wildlife and the environment, Eugene has had a ban on single-use plastic carryout bags since 2013.
In 2019, after Oregon decided to adopt a statewide ban on single-use checkout bags, the City of Eugene updated the local ordinance to align with state law. Effective, December 27, 2019, retail establishments and now also restaurants are prohibited from providing single-use checkout bags to customers. Retail businesses and restaurants are only allowed to provide to customers recycled paper bags, reusable fabric bags, or reusable plastic bags at checkout. The state law does not allow for an exemption process for the single-use checkout bag ordinance.
Key elements of the single-use checkout bag ordinance are outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions.
Restaurants and other retail food and beverage establishments, including food carts, bars, coffee and tea shops, grocery stores, convenience stores, hotels and motels, caterers, and food service contractors are also effected by the City of Eugene’s polystyrene ordinance and single-use serviceware ordinance. For more information on those ordinances, click on the Single-Use Polystyrene and Single-Use Serviceware tabs above.