Waiver and Exemption Request for Single-Use Plastic Food Service Items

List of Exempt Single-Use Plastic Food Service Products

The following items are exempt from the City’s single-use plastic regulations until December 31, 2023 and do not require an application for a waiver or exemption:

  • Produce bags;
  • Catering trays;
  • Clear food wrap and shrink wrap;
  • Containers for uniquely shaped foods, e.g. deviled eggs and cupcakes;
  • Flexible plastic packaging used to preserve moisture and freshness, such as food cookies;
  • Containers or trays for hot meat items such as for ribs or rotisserie chicken;
  • Small absorbent pads put under meat or seafood to absorb liquids in the package.

Single-Use Plastic Waste Compliance Waiver or Exemption Request Form

The form below is for businesses that wish to apply for a waiver or exemption from the requirements of the City’s single-use plastic regulations, as authorized under Bellingham Municipal Code (BMC) 9.32.

The grounds for waiver or exemption are limited to those grounds specified in BMC 9.32, as set forth on this form. Specifically:

  1. Businesses can apply for a waiver for on-premise dining establishments that do not have on-site or off-site dishwashing capacity to use compostable service ware instead of durables, provided certain criteria is met (explained below).
  2. Businesses can also request an extension for one or more of the specific single-use plastic products listed in if (1) there are not at least two suitable compostable alternatives and/or (2) there are not at least two vendors that make commercially available compostable alternatives to the single-use plastic food service product for which the exemption is being extended.

Waivers and exemptions are good for one calendar year, exempting the business of financial penalties associated with non-compliance of Bellingham Municipal Code 9.32.

The form can be submitted online by filling out the boxes below, or by completing this paper form and sending it to: 

City of Bellingham, Public Works
Attn: Solid Waste Manager
2221 Pacific Street
Bellingham, WA 98229 

More Information

For more information, please visit our Single-Use Plastic Restrictions in Bellingham webpage.