Businesses that serve food or beverages in the District could face fines next year if certain disposable food service products fail to meet the expanded requirements issued by the District’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).
Disposable food service products that cannot be recycled or composted were banned this year. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, DOEE will begin enforcement of the regulations at any business or organization that serves food using disposable non-recyclable or non-compostable products. This includes clamshells, bowls, plates, trays, cups, paper bags with plastic windows, foil-lined deli paper wraps, and other items.
In addition, businesses and organizations that serve food will continue to face fines for using disposable containers made of expanded polystyrene, often sold as Styrofoam, which was banned in 2016.
Both restrictions were included in the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014, which aims to better protect the environment. A complete list of restrictions as well as banned and exempt products is available on DOEE's website.