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Proposed Ordinance Regulating the Use of Single-Use Plastic and Polystyrene Products in the City of Beverly Hills

Plastic and polystyrene pollution is an environmental and human health hazard. The EPA and World Health Organization have identified polystyrene as a human carcinogen, and plastic is a by-product of processing oil, which is a significant producer of green house gas (GHG) emissions and a major contributor to climate change.

The proposed ordinance is intended to curtail the existing environmental and human health problems that are caused by the use and disposal of these materials  



The proposed ordinance will prohibit the use, sale and distribution of single-use plastic and polystyrene goods in Beverly Hills. The proposed regulation will affect food service establishments (FSE) and retail stores. FSE are any establishment that sells food or beverages. Impacted sectors would be the following:

Impacted Sectors
Grocery Stores
Cafes/Coffee Shops
Retail Stores
Snack Shops
Mobile Food Vendors
Farmers Markets
Convenience Stores (or similar places where food and beverages are available for sale or take-away)


The items proposed to be regulated include: 

Items Proposed to Be Regulated
Polystyrene Coolers
Polystyrene Produce Trays
Plastic Straws
Plastic Stirrers
Plastic Utensils
Single-Use Plastic Bags

Plastic or polystyrene foodware and beverage items (plates, bowls, trays, cups or drinkware, egg cartons, produce trays, meat and fish trays, wrappers or wrapping, condiment containers, straws, lids, utensils, stirrers, lid plugs or any container in or on which food or beverages are placed or packaged for consumption)


Alternative Products

Acceptable alternative materials include but are not limited to: fiber, wood, non-plastic, non-styrofoam, paper, and cardboard. 

The following list includes durable products that are available to replace single-use plastic and polystyrene.  View the list here: Alternatives to Plastic and Polystyrene Products


If approved by the City Council, there will be two phases of implementation for this ordinance:

Phases of Implementation
Phase 1  The local government of Beverly Hills will have 6 months after the approval of the ordinance to   comply.
Phase 2 Retail stores, hotels, food service establishments and pharmacies in Beverly Hills will have 1 year after the approval of the ordinance to comply.


Exemptions and enforcement

Exempted Products

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

  • Food packaged outside of the City, provided such food is not altered or repackaged within the City limits.
  • Food or beverages brought by individuals for personal consumption to City facilities, including, but not limited to, City parks.


Applying for exemptions

If complying with this ordinance creates a situation of undue hardship, a business can apply for an extension or exemption. The extension or exemption may be approved for a maximum of one year (with the potential for a longer extension).  

Conditions of undue hardship include, but are not limited to situations in which:

  1. There are no reasonable alternatives to the use of polystyrene
  2. Compliance with this ordinance would deprive a person of a legally protected right. 

The request shall be filed in writing with the City Manager and shall include documentation of the reason for the request, and any other information necessary for the City to make its decision. The City may require the applicant to provide additional information as necessary to make the required determinations.



The City of Beverly Hills will be working collaboratively with businesses to comply with this ordinance by providing resources and tips for compliance.  Businesses  who continue to violate the ordinance will be subject to the following Administrative Citation set forth in Beverly Hills Municipal Code (BHMC).

  • Notice of Violation (NOV) for initial violation. Intent of the NOV is to educate stakeholders.
  • Additional violations, subject to Administrative Citation set forth in BHMC
    • $100 for first violation after the written warning notice is given
    • $200 for the second violation after the written warning notice is given
    • Fine not exceeding $500 for third and subsequent violations after a written warning notice has been given


Read more about the proposed ordinance: Fact Sheet


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