GRA
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Berkeley poised to charge 25 cents for disposable coffee cups with the goal of zero waste

Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:50 pm

http://www.ktvu.com/news/berkeley-poised-to-charge-25-cents-for-disposable-coffee-cups-with-the-goal-of-zero-waste

The Berkeley city council is set to vote on a Disposable Foodware and Litter Reduction ordinance on Tuesday, which would mean restaurants, cafes and other businesses would be forced to charge customers 25 cents for each disposable cup.

Customers can avoid paying the extra fee if they bring their own cup.

The ordinance also would require all dine-in foodware to be reusable, and takeout foodware to be compostable by January 2020. So, if you're dining in at McDonald's, for example, the restaurant will have to provide a real fork or spoon, not a plastic one.

The Berkeley city council is set to vote on a Disposable Foodware and Litter Reduction ordinance that would mean restaurants, cafes and other businesses would be forced to charge customers 25 cents for each disposable cup.
City leaders hope the proposal can help Berkeley in its efforts to achieve zero waste.

In a press release, the city said it if passes, this ordinance would become the most ambitious, comprehensive legislation to reduce throw-away foodware in the United States and would take effect next year.

“With the collapse of the overseas recycling market and an influx of food- and beverage-related litter on our streets and in our waterways, waiting is no longer an option,” said Berkeley Councilmember Sophie Hahn, the author of the legislation. “Many Berkeley restaurants have already switched to compostable to-go ware and reusables for dining-in and we’re asking all food vendors to follow their visionary example. Recycling is no longer a solution – if we want to save the planet, it’s time to reduce, reuse and compost. . . .”

High time for this. I'm constantly disgusted at the amount of single-use containers I see littered or tossed into garbage cans. In California we've managed to prohibit the use of single-use produce bags and require stores to charge patrons for shopping bags (paper or reusable-use plastic) plus we've now banned plastic straws, despite the strenuous, well-funded opposition of the bag and container manufacturers.

My hope is that we can next get rid of single-use water and soda bottles below 1 gallon in size for retail sales (we could still provide 1 liter + for disaster relief etc.), as that would vastly reduce the amount of waste and move most people to transfer their drinks from a larger container to a smaller, reusable one to carry with them. I'd also like to get rid of the plastic cups with those domed tops with center holes for straws. I collect recyclables almost daily, and plastic 500 ml screw-top water bottles probably make up 2/3rds of that, many of them more than half full, with the 250 ml and 1 liter water, along with the 20 oz. soda bottles making up most of the rest. Single-use coffee cups are plentiful in the litter and garbage cans around coffee shops. I've got nothing against plastic bottles per se - I've got plastic water bottles I've been using for 25 years or more. But we really need to get away from the whole once and done mindset.
Last edited by GRA on Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Berkeley poised to charge 25 cents for disposable coffee cups with the goal of zero waste

Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:41 pm

The city council passed it unanimously, so it will go into effect next January. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Single-Use-Disposable-Foodware-and-Litter-Reductio-13554995.php

. . . Based on Berkeley's population of around 120,000 people, an estimated 40 million single-use cups are used in the city annually. Many of these aren't recycled and contribute to the nation's ever-growing garbage heap. . . .
Last edited by GRA on Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Berkeley poised to charge 25 cents for disposable coffee cups with the goal of zero waste

Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:44 pm

I'd rather see a 25 cent deposit on smaller water bottles, but given the situation with plastic permeating the environment, I can understand banning them. I reuse them countless times, but that also means that a 12 pack of them bought before a ban would last the rest of my life.
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GRA
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Re: Berkeley poised to charge 25 cents for disposable coffee cups with the goal of zero waste

Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:05 pm

Banning them will undoubtedly be difficult given the money that will be spent opposing that, so the interim suggestion I'm going to push to the legislators I contact is to double the CRV (California Redemption Value, the deposit charged on such containers) from 5 and 10 cents to 10 and 20 cents for smaller (<24 oz.) and larger (24 oz. and up) bottles/cans respectively. There are already states charging a flat $0.10, so this shouldn't be such a big deal. If nothing else this will give the homeless and retirees who do most of the recycling a greater financial incentive, and hopefully boost the recycling rates. Al is pretty high, but plastic not so much owing to its lower price/lb. (which is how most recycling is done, rather than per container). https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/bevcontainer/programinfo/faq

Anyway, we make slow progress - as a diver, it was amazing to see the change in Monterey Bay only 4-6 weeks after supermarket plastic produce bags were banned. Before the ban, we'd see them on every dive, on the shore, floating on the surface or drifting or wrapped around plants under water. A short time after the ban, while there was still plenty of other plastic garbage in the water, the bags almost disappeared, and the same was true just walking around town.
Last edited by GRA on Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

SageBrush
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Re: Berkeley poised to charge 25 cents for disposable coffee cups with the goal of zero waste

Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:16 pm

The costs of plastics, like the cost of fossils, is massively externalized.
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GRA
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
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Re: Berkeley poised to charge 25 cents for disposable coffee cups with the goal of zero waste

Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:46 pm

Yeah, being a diver probably sensitizes you to it a bit more than normal. Where plastic just makes up another piece of litter on land, it's far more noticeable in/on water, where it's found from the surface on down. Denser garbage sinks and stays put. Then there are the photos of fish/birds and others that have eaten the stuff by mistake, e.g. http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#CF000313%2018x24

Some of the more disturbing cases I've come across involve birds, harbor seals or sea lions with pieces of plastic or nylon fishing nets wrapped around their necks. This happens when they're smaller and as they grow the line digs deeper and deeper into their necks, ultimately strangling them or causing them to starve to death. I've seen more than a few live mammals with line grooved 1/2-inch deep. When we spot such an animal, many of us have the Marine Mammal Center's local office on speed dial, and if they're able to get there in time and trap it they remove the line, take it to the center for further treatment/rehabilitation if necessary, and return it to the wild. With the number of sea lions that we see https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEV_en&q=monterey+breakwater+sea+lions&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwib6MLyzYfgAhWpCTQIHaEXDG0QsAR6BAgDEAE&biw=1280&bih=953

at one of the main dive site entries in Monterey, especially during pupping season, such sitings are all too common.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 9772
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
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Re: Berkeley poised to charge 25 cents for disposable coffee cups with the goal of zero waste

Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:53 pm

McKinsey:
How plastics waste recycling could transform the chemical industry
https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/chemicals/our-insights/how-plastics-waste-recycling-could-transform-the-chemical-industry?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck&hlkid=d3bbfe3f5a14491392f969c95addb403&hctky=1713434&hdpid=6c036e83-2fc7-43fa-9629-a7793913b229

If plastics demand follows its current trajectory, global plastics-waste volumes would grow from 260 million tons per year in 2016 to 460 million tons per year by 2030, taking what is already a serious environmental problem to a whole new level. In the face of public outcry about global plastics pollution, the chemical industry is starting to mobilize on this issue. Our recent article “No time to waste” showed how industry leadership is moving beyond the use-once-and-discard approach—under which the plastics industry has grown up—and embracing an expanded definition of product stewardship that includes dealing with plastics waste. As we underlined in that article, this is not only what society demands, and is becoming a condition for the industry to retain its license to operate, but could also represent an important and profitable new business opportunity. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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