2024 Waste Reduction Resources

In November 2021, City Council adopted new regulations to reduce single-use plastic waste, effective January 1, 2023. These regulations are intended to reduce waste in our environment and litter in the ocean, protect public health, and reduce our dependence on plastic. For detailed information, please review Chapter 8.24 (Disposable Food Service Ware and Waste Reduction) of the Municipal Code or explore the tabs below. Please note that the Municipal Code is being updated to reflect Council-adopted ordinance in late 2023. For the most current version of Chapter 8.24, please view Ordinance No. 2023-30.  

A list of frequently asked questions is also available as a PDF and will be updated as new questions are received from both businesses and residents. 

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Have questions? Unsure if a product is compliant with City regulations?

Contact ZeroWaste@bainbridgewa.gov 

Reusable food service ware is required for all onsite dining and encouraged for to-go orders. Reusable means an item designed and manufactured to maintain its shape and structure, and to be materially durable for at least 1,000 hot water washings, such as glass, ceramic and metal containers.

Not Allowed

  • Single-use disposable food service ware*
  • Condiments served in disposable, individual-serving packaging

*Home compostable straws are allowed upon request for onsite dining.

Packaging Leftovers

Leftovers can be placed in disposable to-go containers that meet the following requirements:

Self-Service Facility Requirements:

Both reusable and disposable food service ware must be provided at self-service facilities, such as a salad bar or hot food bar, to provide compliant options for both onsite dining and to-go orders. 

  • Reusable options should be clearly marked to encourage use for onsite dining.
  • Any disposable food service ware items on the 2024 home compostable product list must be providing in a home compostable form for off-premises dining. 
  • Any other disposable food service ware items must be certified by BPI and/or OK Compost HOME, and/or accepted for recycling by Bainbridge Disposal.

Requesting a Waiver for Onsite, Reusable Food Service Ware Requirements

Businesses without onsite or off-site dishwashing capacity may petition the City for a full or partial one-year waiver of the reusable food service ware requirements. The business must demonstrate an inability to comply due to insurmountable space constraints, undue financial hardship, and/or other extraordinary circumstances. Waivers may be granted for a partial or full one year term. Granting of a waiver is at the sole discretion of the City Manager or their designee and is not subject to appeal.

Businesses granted a temporary waiver for the use of reusable food service ware for onsite dining must provide disposable products that meet the following requirements:

Onsite Dining- Waiver Request Form (PDF - English); Please visit City Hall if you prefer a physical copy

Businesses with Approved Waivers for Onsite Dining in 2024:

  • Rolling Bay Cafe (until December 31, 2024)
  • Bainbridge Cinemas (until December 31, 2024)
  • Lynwood Cinemas (until December 31, 2024)

Information Regarding Reusable Cups and Containers  

Reusable Cups: Customers may provide their own reusable cups for beverage service in accordance with the Retail Food Code, WAC 246-215-03348. Reusable cups must be clean, sturdy, and appropriately insulated if ordering hot beverages. 

Reusable Containers for Food: Retail food establishments may not refill consumer-owned containers* without a written, approved plan as required in the Retail Food Code, WAC 246-215-03348. Food establishments can submit a written plan for Kitsap County's health inspector to approve to allow consumers and employees to refill visibly clean consumer-owned containers with food. Visit the Washington State Department of Health website to complete a plan for the refilling of consumer-owned containers. Review guidance from the Kitsap Public Health District on refilling reusable containers to learn more. 

*Exceptions: 

  • A written, approved plan is not required for retail food establishments to refill a consumer-owned beverage container if a contamination-free dispensing system is used by an employee or the customer; if the container is returned to the same customer; if the container can be rinsed with fresh, running hot water at the food service establishment; or if a container of any kind is refilled at a water vending station. 
  • A separate plan is not required for dine-in customers to fill a personal container with their portioned meal from their individual meal service (such as a dinner entrée on their plate). 

Please contact ZeroWaste@bainbridgewa.gov with questions or for more information.

Table showing what is and is not required for food retail establishments in 2024