Sustainability Commission Proposes Ordinance Change

April, 18, 2022

May 11, 2022 UPDATE: 

At the May 10, 2022 meeting, the Sustainability Commission heard input from members of the public and recommended the below changes to the ordinance. The Village Board of Trustees will consider this ordinance at their May 23, 2022 meeting

  • Change the title of the ordinance from Single Use Plastics to Single Use Foodware
  • Section 2: in the definition of single use foodware, add plastic straws to the definition and exclude paper straws from the definition
  • Section 2: 6-5-2 Q. 2a: change "in excess of" to "greater than" 170 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Section 2: 6-5-2 Q. 2e: strike drive-thru exception
  • Section 2: 6-5-2 Q. 3: add language: "Other Plastics. Businesses in the Village are encouraged to make every effort to reduce use of plastic bags, Styrofoam and excess packaging.”
  • Section 7: allow 60 days for implementation

A public meeting will be held by the Village of River Forest Sustainability Commission on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 7PM, at Village Hall and via Zoom, regarding a proposed ordinance for single-use foodware. 

Click here for full meeting information.

The change that is being proposed by the Sustainability Commission is to require that places for eating and places distributing beverages or food sold for human consumption only hand out single-use foodware for take-out and delivery orders at the customer’s request, meaning customers would “opt-in” to receive them. Single-use foodware are items designed and intended for only one usage before being discarded. Single-use foodware is defined below. Notably, this proposed ordinance would not tax nor prohibit the distribution of single-use foodware. Rather, the purpose of this ordinance is to limit the unnecessary distribution of single-use plastics, which generates a significant amount of waste.

A list of businesses that would be subject to this change can be found below. Businesses are being contacted directly to notify them of this proposed change. All are welcome to attend this public meeting to learn more and/or provide comments on this proposed change.

Affected Businesses

Business Name

Business Address

754 Harlem Inc. dba Mobile Gas Station

754 Harlem Ave

7-Eleven # 23852E dba 7-Eleven

1140 Harlem Ave

AFC Sushi @ Jewel Ocso #3223 

7525 Lake St

Asiana Cuisine Enterprises dba Ace Sushi

7501 North Ave

Believers International LLC

349 Ashland Ave

Bertollis Pizza 

7970 Oak Ave

Bond Drug Company of Illinois dba Walgreens #3076

7251 Lake St

Boon Box Bakery

349 Ashland Ave

Boston Market Corporation (#575) 

7211 Lake St

Capri Italian Foods 

7325 North Av

Carby Eats 

349 Ashland Ave

Cathy's Ultimate Soul Food & Catering 

349 Ashland Ave

Celebrations by Us 

349 Ashland Ave

Franks Deli 

7971 Lake St

Good Earth Greenhouse 

7900 Madison St

Highland Park CVS LLC  dba CVS Pharmacy #3889

7929 North Ave

Jewel Food Store #3223 

7525 Lake St

Jewel Food Stores 

7525 Lake St

Jilly's Jerky Snacks LLC 

349 Ashland Ave

Joy Milk Tea LLC 

349 Ashland Ave

Karavites Restaurant 6749 - McDonalds 

624 Harlem Ave

Karl's Craft Soup 

349 Ashland Ave

Meze Table

349 Ashland Ave

New Rose Catering 

349 Ashland Ave

Noodles & Company 

7215 Lake St

Opportunity Knocks 

349 Ashland Ave

Panera LLC / Panera Bread #788 

7349 Lake St

Popify LLC 

349 Ashland Ave

Quest Food Management Services 

7900 Division St

RDK Ventures Inc  dba Circle K #4706790

7201 North Ave

River Forest Chocolates  LLC 

7769 Lake St

River Forest Kitchen  LLC 

349 Ashland Ave

Sodexo America

7400 Augusta St

Srikrishna Catering, Inc. 

7400 Augusta St

Starbucks at Jewel Store #3223 

7525 Lake St

Sunny Bakes dba Out of Neutral LLC

349 Ashland Ave

Sushi Avenue Inc.  

7245 Lake St

Table and Lain

7577 Lake St

The Kitchenette Project

349 Ashland Ave

Whole Foods Market Group 

7245 Lake St

Yolk-Oak Park/River Forest

7301 North Ave

Zazi Natural Foods LLC 

349 Ashland Ave

Persimmon Kitchen LLC

349 Ashland Ave

Proposed changes to Title 6, Health and Sanitation, of the Village Code are as follows.

6-5-1: DEFINITIONS:

SELF-SERVICE STATION: An area dedicated to customers taking away single-use foodware and condiments.

SINGLE-USE FOODWARE: Any eating utensil or other item to be used as part of food or beverage service that is designed and intended by the manufacturer for only one usage before being discarded, including forks, spoons, sporks, knifes, chopsticks, other eating utensils, stirrers, drink stoppers, splash sticks, cocktail sticks, toothpicks, napkins, wet-wipes, cup sleeves, beverage trays, disposable plates, and condiment packets. “Single-use foodware” does not include straws, beverage lids, or items used to contain or package food or beverages for delivery or take-out orders.

6-5-2.Q.: SINGLE-USE FOODWARE:

  1. Requirements. In connection with any delivery or take-out order of food or beverage, a food establishment may only provide single-use foodware upon request from the customer or at a self-service station. Food establishments shall provide options for customers to affirmatively request single-use foodware when ordering food and beverages for delivery or take-out across all ordering or point of sale platforms, including internet enabled applications, digital platforms, phone orders, and in-person ordering. The Village Administrator is authorized to establish, by rule, a standard sign for use by food establishments in connection with this Subsection.
  2. Exceptions. This Section shall not apply to:
    1. Single-use foodware necessary to address safety concerns, such as lids, drink stoppers, beverage trays and cup sleeves for beverages served at an average temperature in excess of 170 degrees Fahrenheit;
    2. A food vending machine, as defined in Section 6-6-1 of the Village Code;
    3. Any single-use foodware that is prepackaged with or attached to any food or beverage products by the manufacturer prior to receipt by the food establishment;
    4. Any charitable food establishment;
    5. Single-use foodware provided in connection with any food or beverage order fulfilled at a drive-through facility; and
    6. A food establishment granted a waiver by the Village Administrator. Any waiver granted by the Village Administrator shall be reported, in writing, to the Village President and Board of Trustees.

Anyone with questions regarding the proposed change or public meeting should contact Sara Phyfer, Management Analyst and Sustainability Commission Staff Liaison at sphyfer@vrf.us or 708-714-3521.