Skip to main content

Patrons of restaurants and coffee shops in Berkeley, California, who don’t bring a reusable cup for their beverage will have to pay a 25-cent fee for a disposable cup as part of an ordinance approved by city officials to eliminate restaurant waste.

Berkeley’s City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the fee on single-use cups, which will take effect January, 2020.

“The goal is to transition Berkeley from throwaway to reusable food ware, to incentivize people to bring their own cup,” Councilwoman Sophie Hahn said, who proposed the ordinance with Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

Story continues below advertisement

Restaurants would keep all proceeds, and it would be up to them to decide what to do with the extra money, Ms. Hahn said. She said it could be invested on more environmentally friendly food ware.

The ordinance also requires restaurants to provide takeout containers that are compostable by mid-2020 and to provide only reusable plates and utensils for those eating in. It also says other disposable items, such as lids and stirrers, can only be offered when requested.

The single-use cup fee is the latest effort in the socially forward city to reduce waste. Bans on plastic bags received support in the city of 100,000 long before California imposed its own ban in 2014.

Berkeley pioneered recycling in the 1970s, but that alone is no longer enough, Ms. Hahn said.

“We were the first city in the United States to do curbside recycling, and people thought we were crazy,” she said “But we pioneered that, and it has become the norm across the world.”

Berkeley voters also became the first in the country to approve taxing sodas to curb consumption, after costly campaigns by the soda industry helped defeat similar taxes in more than 30 other cities and states in recent years.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter