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Countywide Outreach and Public Support

The Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted the Reusable Foodware Ordinance[PDF] on May 10, 2022. Since then,  jurisdictions have voluntarily adopted the Reusable Foodware Ordinance model, provided by the County. 

The Towns of Tiburon, San Anselmo, and Fairfax have adopted the model ordinance. The cities of Mill Valley, Novato, Larkspur, and the Town of Ross are on track to adopt the ordinance by May 2023. See here for an updated list of jurisdiction Ordinance Adoption Status.  

Outreach and Engagement

In late 2021 and early 2022, City of San Rafael staff conducted outreach with our local food vendors and businesses to gain a more in-depth understanding of the barriers and possible impacts before implementing a reusable foodware ordinance. City staff conducted over 50 in-person interviews with food vendors throughout San Rafael, including Downtown, Terra Linda, and the Canal neighborhood. Staff interviewed the management and owners of restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, specialty drink shops, and other food vendors to hear feedback, assess support and understand better what types of materials were in use. 

During this time City staff also sent informational mailers to all San Rafael food vendors and met with other counties and jurisdictions to discuss their strategies and findings related to reusable food ware and reducing single use plastics. Staff provided this feedback to the County as they developed and refined the ordinance. A summary of the City outreach findings can be found here. 

The County of Marin has continued its efforts to develop a Reusable Foodware Ordinance and provide outreach to residents and businesses across Marin County.  In 2021, various outreach efforts were conducted by the County to garner feedback from residents and businesses across Marin County. 

Highlights from these efforts include:  

  • 56 site visits were completed across all jurisdictions 
  • 75 businesses were called across all jurisdictions 
  • 97 Food Vendor survey responses 
  • 338 resident survey responses 
  • 20+ meetings with stakeholders across all jurisdictions 

Switching to Reusables  

  • 68% of surveyed Food Vendors do not think it would be difficult to switch to all reusables for dine in (of which 18% would want help from the County or cities)  
  • 91% of surveyed residents support Marin County requiring all food vendors use foodware that is either reusable or compostable    

Support for $0.25 Charge  

  • Over 50% of surveyed businesses support a $0.25 charge  
  • 79% of surveyed residents support a County-wide cup charge  

Reducing Plastics  

  • 95% are in favor of reducing plastic materials from going to landfill    

The full summary of 2021 Countywide Outreach can be found here. 

For more information on the County of Marin’s Reusable Foodware Ordinance, including information on what type of to-go containers are compliant and the grant program available to help businesses comply, visit the County’s website . 

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