AB 1276: Single-Use Foodware and Accessories

As of January 1, 2022, retail food facilities may only provide single-use foodware accessories and standard condiments upon customer request. 

California Assembly Bill (AB) 1276 

The new State legislation, known as Assembly Bill 1276, was passed due to the volume of straws, cutlery, condiment packets, and other disposable accessories that clog California landfills, contaminate recycling processes, or become litter that pollutes our streets and waterways. This new law expands the straw-upon-request law, AB 1884, which prohibits full-service restaurants from automatically providing single-use straws to consumers unless requested.

Additionally, the law requires the following:

  • Retail food facilities may not bundle single-use foodware items
  • Retail food facilities may ask customers at drive-throughs and public airports if they want single-use foodware items
  • Third-party delivery platforms for takeout and delivery orders shall provide consumers the option to request single-use food items from their menu

Curbing litter is one of the key intentions of the bill, protecting the environment and reducing the government resources spent every day on litter collection. The bill is expected also to save restaurants money as they order fewer disposable products.

What are single-use foodware items?

“Single-use foodware accessory” means all of the following single-use items provided alongside ready-to-eat food:

  1. Utensils, which are defined as forks, knives, spoons, and sporks
  2. Chopsticks
  3. Condiment cups and packets
  4. Straws
  5. Stirrers
  6. Splash sticks
  7. Cocktail sticks

“Standard Condiment” means single-serving packages of relishes, spices, sauces, confections, or seasoning 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.

Additional Resouces

For the full AB 1276 text and list of compliance requirements, click here.

For the California Department of Public Health AB 1276 Fact Sheet, click here.

For a printable reference you can post to educate consumers at your retail food establishment, click here.

For more information regarding local implementation of this bill, please see San Luis Obispo County IWMA, and County of San Luis Obispo Department of Environmental Health .