Polystyrene Ordinance and "Bring Your Own!" Campaign

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On September 10, 2013 the Manhattan Beach City Council adopted Ordinance 13-0009 (PDF) prohibiting the use of polystyrene food service ware. This ordinance became effective on October 10, 2013.The city implemented a grace period after the ordinance was announced to allow businesses to use all polystyrene materials that were already purchased. On April 1, 2014, City Council removed the exemption for MBUSD and approved the additional items to be included in the existing polystyrene ordinance, including a prohibition on ice coolers, straws, cup lids and utensils made from polystyrene materials, and a prohibition on the sale of polystyrene food service materials in local retail stores.

The ordinance, as of April 10, 2014 and the amendments on October 1, 2014, are now enforceable for all businesses in Manhattan Beach. All businesses should be aware of this enforcement since all businesses must indicate their compliance with this ordinance on the annual business license renewal application. Please see the Letter to Manhattan Beach Businesses (PDF) for more details.

A new 2018 amendment removes the previous exemptions for raw food, including polystyrene produce trays and polystyrene egg cartons. It also prohibits packing materials made from polystyrene such as packing peanuts and noodles.

This ordinance was adopted to reduce litter and to ensure that all food service containers and materials are recyclable or compostable. If you own a local business that currently does not have recycling collection services, we encourage you to contact Waste Management at (310) 830-7100. Waste Management will complete a waste audit of your business at no charge to setup your recycling and solid waste management needs. Recycling can reduce your disposal costs as well as ensure that your customers can properly recycle at your establishment

For residents and members of the public, we encourage you to "Bring Your Own!" containers, reusable cups and mugs, straws, and utensils whenever you can. Several local businesses in Manhattan Beach already offer incentives for patrons that bring their own reusable mugs, and many more will begin to offer incentives to encourage customers to take their leftovers home in their own reusable containers.

What products are added in 2018?


- Paper/cardboard egg cartons

- Biodegradable packing materials

- Biodegradable vegetable trays

Not allowed:

- Polystyrene or Styrofoam®️ egg cartons

- Polystyrene or Styrofoam®️  packing materials

- Polystyrene or Styrofoam®️  produce (fruit/vegetable) trays


Alternative Products

Products made from alternative plastics, or compostable and recyclable materials, are available as replacement.

The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is a not-for-profit association of key individuals and groups from government, industry and academia. Funded by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), the new Compostable Products Catalog features more than 3,300 different compostable product “skus” (shelf keeping units), including foodservice ware (cups, cutlery, plates & trays), resins and coatings, compostable bags and films.

The City of Santa Monica has also compiled an extensive listing of compostable or recyclable food service products that would be suitable replacements for polystyrene food service ware materials. The Distributor List is provided for informational purposes only, and the vendors are not endorsed by the City of Manhattan Beach. 


Polystyrene Ban compliance dates:

October 10, 2013 - Ordinance 13-0009 became effective

April 10, 2014 - Enforcement of ordinance began and all businesses must indicate their compliance with this ordinance on the annual business license renewal application

May 2, 2014 - Amendments to the polystyrene ordinance came into effect

October 1, 2014 - Amendments to the polystyrene ordinance became enforceable

June 5, 2018 - New Amendments to Municipal code Chapter 5.80 (Ordinance 18-0016) adopted

July 1, 2018 - Polystyrene Ordinance 18-0016 came into effect

January 1, 2019 - The 2018 amendments become enforceable


Please direct questions to the City's Environmental Sustainability Division at (310) 802-5508

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