Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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Green Blog

News about our community as it relates to the environment

What you should know about the Washington Single-use Serviceware Law

What you should know about the Washington Single-use Serviceware Law

The Washington Department of Ecology is changing the way restaurants and businesses distribute single-use items. Beginning January 1, 2022, the Washington Statewide Food Serviceware Law will ban restaurants from providing single-use items without verbal consent from the customer. 

Which single-use items are included in the law?

This graphic depicts what single-use items can be requested or selected by the customer, but will not be routinely provided by businesses:

Department of Ecology, State of Washington, 2021

What are the costs of single-use items?

  • Environmental costs from natural resource extraction and plastic pollution
  • Business costs to purchase and dispose these items
  • Taxpayer costs supporting solid waste management and litter removal
  • Human health costs linked to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS are long-lasting synthetic chemicals used in food packaging that have been linked to health issues in humans and animals by the Environmental Protection Agency.

What if I still need an item included under the law?

The Food Serviceware Law does not prohibit businesses from providing these items. If you would still like to receive any of the single-use items included in the law, you may ask for them upon ordering or pick-up. A verbal confirmation from the customer gives the business the green light to provide the customer those items. Businesses will also be able to provide single-use items in the form of a dispenser or self-serve bin. This law does not apply to resources provided through health care facilities, long term care facilities, and other facilities that assist people with specific needs.

Maria Ilves, 2019

The United States disposes of one trillion single-use items annually. The Food Serviceware Law will cut down on the amount of waste produced, divert pollution from our local watershed and environment, and preserve natural resources globally. You can stay prepared for the upcoming changes by keeping a to-go mug and reusable silverware kit in your bag or car for the unexpected coffee run or lunch outing.

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How can I protect myself from the Coronavirus?

Wash your hands

Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can also protect people against coronaviruses, including COVID-19. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Learn more about the Coronavirus