Reusable Foodware and Waste Reduction Ordinance

Local residents at Napa Climate NOW! asked some simple questions.  What can we do right now to impact this pending climate catastrophe?  Recycling, composting, EV’s, and solar panels are important, but can we influence the bigger contributors to the climate crisis?  Can we do something local that may grow to a larger trend?

These questions became a starting point that has turned into a quest to reduce disposable foodware in Napa County through local legislation. Read the full article “Moving Towards a Disposable Foodware Reduction Ordinance” by Bob Figoni.

Learn more about the proposed ordinance:

  • Ordinance Summary
  • Proposed Draft Ordinance
  • FAQs
  • How to Get Involved. Interested in joining the effort to reduce single use plastic and ban polystyrene foodware in Napa County? Find ways to take action below.
    • Contact your local and county representatives and let them know you support the Reusable Foodware and Waste Reduction Ordinance proposed by Napa Climate NOW! And feel free to use the talking points below).
    • Contact members of the Countywide Climate Action Committee and encourage them to address the disposable foodware problem.

Take Personal Action

  • Bring your own reusable cups and other foodware when getting takeout.
  • Don’t take disposable foodware that you don’t need. This includes excess napkins, lid plugs, condiment packets and other unnecessary foodware accessories.
  • Frequent food establishments that use reusables for dining in, and compostables for takeout.
  • Encourage your local restaurants to stop using plastic and “go reusable.”
  • Join the Waste Reduction Issue Team by contacting Bob Figoni at

    By acting now to stem the use of disposable foodware, we can fight climate change in our own backyard, keep our community clean and beautiful, protect our waterways and wildlife, and help make Napa County a true environmental leader. Together we can turn the tide.

    Supporting Businesses and Organizations 

    • Sustainable St. Helena
    • Schools for Climate Action
    • Napa Sierra Club
    • Napa Valley CanDo
    • Napa Recycling and Waste Service
    • Upper Valley Disposal and Recycling Service
    • Napa County Bicycle Coalition
    • League of Women Voters

    Talking Points (when approaching businesses/contacting elected reps/writing letters to the editor)

    • Disposable foodware contributes to climate change by using fossil fuel (petroleum) in plastic manufacturing, transportation and disposal.
    • According to the Upstream Policy Institute, 561 billion foodservice disposable items were used in the US in 2016, becoming a total of 4.9 million tons of waste. Restaurants spent $19 billion on disposable foodware in the US that same year. 
    • Disposable foodware causes litter (and associated cleanup costs), pollutes our oceans and waterways, and affects the health and life of marine and other animals. It is beginning to creep into our bodies in what is called microplastics. We ingest these into our systems, potentially causing cancer and other diseases. If we don’t change our behavior, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 (by weight ).
    • It’s a big problem that’s getting worse. According to Business Watch (11/25/2020), the pandemic has more than doubled food-delivery apps’ business, so it’s more important than ever to address the issue now.