California city approves 25-cent fee on disposable cups

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 to approve the fee on single-use cups, which will take effect January 2020.

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

Hahn says restaurants would keep all proceeds, and it would be up to them to decide what to do with the extra money.

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. Also other disposable items, like lids and stirrers, can only be offered when requested.

 

Dawn Kamber