Chapter 6.28


6.28.010    Definitions.

6.28.020    Single-use plastic straws and stirrers prohibition.

6.28.030    Violations.

6.28.010 Definitions.

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

A. “Plastic straw” means a tube of plastic for transferring a beverage from its container to the mouth of the drinker.

B. “Food service business” means full-service restaurants, fast food restaurants, cafes, delicatessens, coffee shops, home delivery services, nonprofit food providers, vending trucks or carts, farmer’s markets, business or institutional cafeterias, or other similar businesses selling or providing food within the city for consumption on or off the premises.

C. “Single-use” means a noncompostable straw or stirrer that is made from plastic and that is neither intended nor suitable for continuous reuse.

D. “Commercially compostable utensils” means utensils that are capable of being completely broken down into stable products in a controlled, aerobic, commercial process that results in a material safe and desirable as a soil amendment or when discharged into stormwater. (Ord. 3249 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020).

6.28.020 Single-use plastic straws and stirrers prohibition.

A. Effective January 1, 2021, food service businesses shall not provide single-use or commercially compostable plastic straws or stirrers to their customers, and if a customer requests a straw, they will be provided with a paper, biodegradable, or reusable straw.

B. The prohibition shall not apply to:

1. Single-use or commercially compostable straws or stirrers provided to customers when needed due to medical or physical conditions and for whom paper, biodegradable, or reusable straws or stirrers are unsuitable;

2. Bulk sales in retail stores;

3. Medical and dental facilities; and

4. During a locally declared emergency.

C. Undue Hardship. The city manager, or designee, may exempt any food service business or person from the requirements of this chapter for a one-year period, upon written request by applicant that the conditions of this chapter would cause undue hardship following the operative date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, as follows:

1. A request for an exemption shall be filed in writing with the city manager or designee and shall include documentation of the reason for the claimed exemption and any other information necessary for the city to make its decision. An exemption application shall include all information necessary for the city to make its decision, including, but not limited to, documentation showing the factual support for the claimed exemption. The city may require the applicant to provide additional information as necessary to make the required determinations.

2. The city manager or designee may approve the exemption application for one year, with or without conditions, upon finding that compliance would create an undue hardship. Undue hardship shall be construed to include, but not limited to, situations when:

a. Situations unique to the food service business or individual when there are no reasonable alternatives to plastic straws or stirrers and compliance with this chapter would cause significant economic hardship to that restaurant or individual;

b. Situations where no reasonably feasible available alternatives exist to the use of plastic straws or stirrers.

3. A food service business granted an exemption by the city must reapply prior to the end of the one-year exemption period and demonstrate continued undue hardship if it wishes to have the exemption extended. Extensions may only be granted for intervals not to exceed one year.

4. Exemption decisions by the city manager or designee are effective immediately and final and are not appealable.

5. The city council may by resolution establish a fee for exemption applications. The application fee shall be an amount sufficient to cover the costs of processing the exemption application. (Ord. 3249 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020).

6.28.030 Violations.

A violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a Class I civil infraction pursuant to Chapter 7.80 RCW. Issuance and disposition of infractions issued for violations of this chapter shall be in accordance with Chapter 7.80 RCW. The penalty for violation of a provision of this chapter shall be $100.00. The penalty for a second or subsequent offense in violation of the provision of this chapter within two years of any previous offense shall be $250.00. (Ord. 3249 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020).