Berkeley considering ban on single-use disposable foodware to reduce litter

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Berkeley City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on a single-use disposable foodware and litter reduction ordinance.

UPDATE: Berkeley City Council unanimously passes disposable foodware and litter ordinance

Sophie Hahn proposed the idea. "Not only is it realistic, but we have no choice. We have to do this," she said.

RELATED: San Francisco leaders vote unanimously to ban plastic straws, single-use foodware

If it passes, all to-go food would have to be in compostable packaging. Food eaten in the restaurant would have to be served on reusable dishes and with reusable utensils.

Your morning cup of coffee could cost you an extra twenty five cents. The hope is that you would bring a reusable cup. If not, you pay an extra quarter.

"I don't always carry around my own cup so I guess I would have to pay the quarter. I agree with it in a sense, minimizing waste is a good thing," said Jerry Feltis, who lives in Fairfield but works in Berkeley.

Hahn says businesses don't need to worry, that there won't be trash police forcing them to do this.

RELATED: San Francisco restaurant fights plastic waste one margarita at a time

"There is no punishment, the punishment is we help you comply," she said.

Implementation will be phased in if the ordinance passes. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday night. She says other cities and countries are already calling her to inquire about the ordinance. She says we must do something to reduce waste.

"People don't realize the huge impact throwaway foodware has on not just the planet but on our own storm drains, our own trash and litter. The vast majority of litter on our streets in the Bay Area and in Berkeley is throw away foodware," Hahn said.

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