Working Partner Update: Berkeley Ecology Center

Cities addressing plastic pollution and contamination of US recyclable materials are taking aim at single-use disposable plastic foodware. Berkeley, Calif. is considering the most aggressive legislation among actions in six other US cities.

The Berkeley City Council will soon consider the Disposable Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance, the most ambitious and comprehensive piece of municipal legislation in the US aimed at reducing single-use disposable foodware.

Berkeley’s proposed legislation builds on a wave of similar city ordinances, including in Santa CruzAlamedaDavis, SeattleFt. Myers Beach, and Malibu, that have been passed in response to troubling global levels of plastic pollution.

Berkeley’s Ordinance goes further than all prior initiatives, requiring that: 1) only reusable foodware can be used for dine-in service, 2) all takeout foodware must be approved as recyclable or compostable in the City’s collection programs, 3) food vendors charge customers $0.25 for every disposable beverage cup and $0.25 for every disposable food container provided, and 4) disposable compostable straws, stirrers, cup spill plugs, napkins, and utensils for take-out are provided only upon request by the customer or at a self-serve station.

For full article see Berkeley Ecology Center’s press release.

Photo Credit: Berkeley Ecology Center.

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Follow Neil Seldman:
Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.