5.56.010:    Effective Date

5.56.020:    Definitions

5.56.030:    Prohibited Disposable Food Service Ware

5.56.040:    Required Biodegradable, Compostable, or Recyclable Disposable Food Service Ware

5.56.050:    Exemptions

5.56.060:    Recordkeeping and Inspection

5.56.070:    Penalties


This chapter shall be enforceable after January 1, 2015. (Ord. 2014-79, 7-7-2014)


For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

A.    "ASTM standard" means meeting the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Standard D6400 or D6868 for biodegradable and compostable plastics, as those standards may be amended from time to time.

B.    "Biodegradable" means the ability of organic matter to break down from a complex to a more simple form.

C.    "City facility" means any building, property, structure, or vehicle owned or operated by the city of Gonzales.

D.    "Compostable" means all the materials in the produce or package will break down, or otherwise become part of usable compost in a safe and timely manner. Compostable disposable food service ware must meet ASTM standards for compostability and any bio-plastic or plastic-like product must be clearly labeled, preferably with a color symbol, to allow proper identification such that the collector and processor can easily distinguish the ASTM standard compostable plastic from non-ASTM standard compostable plastic.

E.    "Disposable food service ware" means single-use disposable products used by a food provider for serving or transporting prepared, ready-to-consume food or beverages including but not limited to plates, cups, bowls, trays, and hinged or lidded containers. Disposable food service ware includes single-use disposable items such as plastic straws, cup lids or utensils.

F.    "Food packaging" means containers, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, and cups in which foods or beverages are placed or packaged or are intended to be placed or packaged. Food packaging does not include polystyrene foam coolers and ice chests used for the storage or transportation and/or intended for reuse.

G.    "Food provider" means any vendor located or providing food within the city which provides prepared food for public consumption on or off its premises and includes without limitation any store, shop, sales outlet, restaurant, grocery store, supermarket, delicatessen, catering truck, nonmotorized pushcart, or any other vehicle, or any other person who provides prepared food; and any organization, group or individual which provides food as a part of its services.

H.    "Person" means any individual, sole proprietorship, firm, association, organization, partnership (whether limited or general), corporation, limited liability corporation, political subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, public or private corporation, trust, joint venture, regulatory authority or any other entity.

I.    "Polystyrene foam" means and includes expanded polystyrene that is a thermoplastic petrochemical material utilizing a styrene monomer and processed by any number of techniques including, but not limited to, fusion of polymer spheres ("expanded bead polystyrene"), injection molding, form molding, and extrusion-blow molding ("extruded foam polystyrene"). To include, but not be limited to, polystyrene foam plate, bleached paperboard plate with low density polyethylene coating and bleached paperboard plate with polystyrene coating.

J.    "Prepared food" means any food or beverage prepared at the food provider’s premises, using any cooking or food preparation technique. Prepared food does not include any raw uncooked meat, poultry, fish or eggs unless provided for consumption without further food preparation.

K.    "Recyclable" means any material that is accepted by the city or its franchise waste hauler for recycling including, but not limited to, paper, glass, aluminum, cardboard and plastic bottles, jars, and tubs. Recyclable plastics comprise those plastics coded with the recycling symbols 1 through 5.

L.    "Retail food establishment" shall include, but shall not be limited to, any place where food is prepared to include any fixed or mobile restaurant or food service vehicle, drive-in, coffee shop, public food market, produce stand or similar place which food or drink is prepared for sale or for service on the premises or elsewhere.

M.    "Special event" means any special event as that term is defined by and is regulated by the Gonzales City Code at which food and/or beverages are being provided for public consumption. This definition shall apply whether such food and/or drinks are prepared within or outside of the city limits. (Ord. 2014-79, 7-7-2014)


A.    Food providers shall not dispense prepared food in any disposable food service ware that contains polystyrene foam or otherwise sell, hand out, give away, distribute, or otherwise make available for public or customer use any disposable food service ware that contains polystyrene foam, unless exempted by this chapter.

B.    Disposable food service ware that contains polystyrene foam is prohibited from use in all city facilities.

C.    The prohibition of disposable food service ware shall also apply to all city contractors in the performance of city contracts and special events sponsored by the city.

D.    It shall also be a policy goal of the city that business establishments located outside the city limits, but that may sell or offer for sale their products within the city, shall not package any food product in any package that contains or that utilizes polystyrene foam. The city shall promote and shall encourage, on a voluntary basis, the elimination of all polystyrene foam disposable food service ware by these outside business establishments. (Ord. 2014-79, 7-7-2014)


A.    All food providers within the city utilizing disposable food service ware shall use only biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable products.

B.    All city facilities utilizing disposable food service ware shall use only products that are biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable.

C.    All promoters and participants in special events utilizing food service ware shall use only products that are biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable. (Ord. 2014-79, 7-7-2014)

5.56.050 EXEMPTIONS:

A.    Polystyrene foam coolers and ice chests used by food providers for item storage and/or transportation and intended for reuse shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

B.    During an emergency requiring immediate action to prevent or to mitigate the loss or impairment of life, health, property or essential public services, persons providing emergency relief are exempt from the provisions of this article until such time as the emergency has ceased. (Ord. 2014-79, 7-7-2014)


All food vendors shall be available for inspection at no cost to the city during regular business hours by any city employee authorized to enforce this section. (Ord. 2014-79, 7-7-2014)

5.56.070 PENALTIES:

A.    For the first violation of this chapter, a written warning shall be issued to the provider specifying that a violation of this chapter has occurred. The provider will have thirty (30) days to comply.

B.    Upon failure of the provider to comply within the thirty (30) day period set forth in subsection A of this section, the city may pursue enforcement of this chapter utilizing any of the remedies set forth in the city’s code enforcement process. (Ord. 2014-79, 7-7-2014)