Health and Safety
Regulatory Provisions Concerning Public Health
CHAPTER 30Q. Food Establishments; Polystyrene and Plastic Waste [Effective July 1, 2025].
For purposes of this chapter:
(1) “ASTM D6400 standard specification” means the standard specification for labeling of plastics designed to be aerobically composted in municipal or industrial facilities set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
(2) “ASTM D6868 standard specification” means the standard specification for labeling of end items that incorporate plastics and polymers as coatings or additives with paper and other substrates designed to be aerobically composted in municipal or industrial facilities set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
(3) “Beverage stirrer” means a single-service article primarily intended to be used to stir a beverage, such as coffee, cocoa, or tea.
(4) “Beverage straw” or “straw” means a single-service tube primarily intended to be used for transferring a beverage from its container to the mouth when drinking.
(5) “Cocktail pick” means a single-service article that is used to garnish a beverage, including to hold an olive or fruit.
(6) “Compostable” means that all the materials in the article will break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost in a safe and timely manner in an appropriate composting facility or in a home compost pile or device. “Compostable” includes articles with a certification logo indicating that the article meets the ASTM D6400 standard specification or ASTM D6868 standard specification.
(7) “Food service packaging” means a single-service article used for serving or transporting prepared, ready-to-consume food or beverages, including plates, cups, bowls, trays, and hinged or lidded containers.
(8) “Health-care provider” means a facility that provides long-term, acute, and outpatient health-care services under Chapter 79 of Title 29.
(9) “Plastic” means a synthetic material made from organic polymers, including polypropylene and polystyrene, that can be molded into shape while soft, and then set into a rigid or slightly elastic form.
(10) “Polystyrene foam” or “polystyrene” means blown polystyrene and expanded or extruded foams using a styrene monomer. “Polystyrene foam” or “polystyrene” does not mean clear or solid polystyrene.
(11) “Polystyrene foam food service packaging” means food service packaging made from polystyrene foam. “Polystyrene foam food service packaging” does not mean polystyrene foam products that are containers used to contain, transport, or package raw, uncooked, or butchered meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, fruits, or vegetables.
(12) “Pre-packaged” means bottled, canned, cartoned, bagged, or wrapped at a food processing plant or before arriving at a food establishment.
(13) “Sandwich pick” means a single-service article, either hollow or solid, commonly used to pierce a sandwich.
(14) The following terms mean as defined in the Delaware Food Code, Regulation 4458 of Title 16 of the Delaware Administrative Code [16 DE Admin. Code 4458]:
b. “Core item.”
d. “Food establishment.”
e. “Ready-to-eat food.”
f. “Single-service articles.”
g. “Single-service” means as “single-service articles” is defined.84 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 2;
(a) A food establishment may not provide a single-service plastic straw unless any of the following apply:
(1) A plastic straw is requested by a consumer.
(2) The plastic straw is for a patient or resident, if the food establishment is located in a hospital or long-term care facility.
(3) The plastic straw is attached to pre-packaged goods, including juice boxes.
(b) (1) A food establishment that provides straws must strive to ensure that single-service plastic straws always remain available upon request.
(2) A food establishment that provides a plastic straw to a consumer must provide it free of charge and may not inquire into the reason for the request.
(c) This section does not restrict a food establishment from providing compostable beverage straws that are not made from plastic.84 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 2;
(a) A food establishment may not provide a consumer with any of the following single-service articles if the article is made from plastic:
(1) Beverage stirrer.
(2) Cocktail pick.
(3) Sandwich pick.
(b) This section does not restrict a food establishment from providing compostable single-service articles, such as those made from paper, pasta, sugar cane, wood, or bamboo.84 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 2;
(a) A food establishment may not provide ready-to-eat food to a consumer in polystyrene foam food service packaging.
(b) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Pre-packaged food.
(2) Food provided to a patient or resident by a health-care provider.
(c) Food establishments are encouraged not to use or sell food that is pre-packaged in polystyrene foam food service packaging.84 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 2;
(a) Beginning July 1, 2026, a violation of § 3002Q, § 3003Q, or § 3004Q of this title or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder shall be deemed a core item violation of the Delaware Food Code and subject to administrative penalty thereunder and under § 107 of Title 16.
(b) The license of a food establishment shall not be suspended or revoked solely for any single or reoccurring core item violation of § 3002Q, § 3003Q or § 3004Q of this title or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder.84 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 2;
The Secretary may adopt rules, regulations, and procedures necessary to implement this chapter.84 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 2;