In November 2021, the Bainbridge Island City Council passed an ordinance regarding the use of home compostable or durable serviceware in Bainbridge Island foodservice businesses. This ordinance takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.

“Home compostable” materials are not the same as compostable materials that can be composted at a commercial facility. Home compostable materials must be comprised of a natural fiber or certified by OK Compost HOME and be free of all intentionally added fluorinated chemicals (PFAS-free). The city can grant waivers for particular products, if they are not available. The city will only grant exemptions for products where there are not at least two vendors that make readily available home compostable alternatives.

In addition, to encourage the use of reusable cups, foodservice businesses must charge $0.25 for every disposable cup they provide. The foodservice business retains the income from the disposable cup charge. The business must identify charges for disposable cups separately on any receipt provided and, pre-sale, must clearly identify for the customer on media such as menus, ordering platforms, and menu boards. Customers placing orders by telephone must be informed verbally of the single-use cup charge. Customers may avoid the charge by providing a clean durable cup.

Reusable food serviceware is required at all on-premises dining establishments for any meal eaten on the premises. Home compostable straws shall be allowed upon request for dining on the premises. Condiments, such as sauces, ketchup or mustard, provided for onsite consumption, shall not be served in disposable, individual-serving packaging. Businesses without onsite or off-site dishwashing capacity may petition the city for a full or partial one-year waiver. The business must demonstrate inability to comply due to insurmountable space constraints, undue financial hardship or other extraordinary circumstances. Businesses granted a waiver for the use of reusable food serviceware must comply with home compostable requirements.

For lodging members, no single-use personal care products shall be distributed unless they are packaged in home compostable packaging.

The city has additional information on its website. If you have questions or are having difficulty finding products, please contact Director of Local Government Affairs John Lane at .