Description: Single-use disposable foodware and packaging (SUDs) – including plates, cutlery, cups, lids, straws, “clamshells” and other containers – are a major contributor to street litter, ocean pollution, marine and other wildlife harm as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Because the environmental costs of these products are largely hidden from the business operators and consumers, little attention is paid to the quantity of packaging consumed and quickly thrown away. Reducing the use of SUDs is a key strategy to achieve Zero Waste and Climate Action goals.
Legislation from Berkeley, CA builds on a wave of similar city ordinances, including those in Santa Cruz, Alameda, Davis, and Malibu, CA; Seattle, WA; and Ft. Myers, FL, that have been passed in response to troubling global levels of plastic pollution. More recently similar ordinances have been adopted by the California cities of Arcata, Daly City, and Palo Alto.
Goal: Reduce single-use disposable foodware and packaging and resultant waste, waste hauling/fuel use, and methane generation from compostable materials and food waste that are sent to landfills.
Time to Implement: In Berkeley: Phased implementation over 1.5 years
Single-Use Foodware Rules – Berkeley, CA
WAIVER APPLICATION-SINGLE USE FOODWARE AND LITTER REDUCTION – ORDINANCE No. 7,639-N.S.
Berkeley Legislation Aims to Curb use of Disposable Foodware
Berkeley City Councilmember