Blue Bottle to test ban on single-use cups and bags in Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Customers at Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee will soon have to bring their own cup or pay extra for a reusable mug from the coffee company.

Blue Bottle is trying to become zero waste by the end of 2020. To meet the goal, they will test a ban on single-use cups and bags at two Bay Area locations.

CEO Bryan Meehan made the announcement in a blog post. "We recently woke up to the fact that our beautiful bioplastic cups and straws were not being composted even though they were 100 percent compostable," said Meehan. "Too many ended up in landfills, where they couldn't break down at all. So we switched to paper straws and sugarcane-paper cups. But that's still not enough."

RELATED: Bay Area coffee shops ditching single-use cups

Customers who spoke with ABC7 News outside Blue Bottle's Palo Alto store say they support the idea, "Recycle, reduce, reuse, save the world. Let's do it however we can, that's how I feel about it," said customer SevanKelee Boult. Boult already brings her own cup or thermos to the location every time she visits. Meehan admits not everyone will feel the same way. He acknowledged the change might not work and it will make things more complicated for customers.

It doesn't seem to bother some customer, however. "I do not bring my own cup," said Steve Levine, "I normally get it to have here which means I end up with a normal, ceramic cup versus a to-go paper cup."

Meehan says the test in the Bay Area will help the company decide how to implement the program nationwide.

RELATED: Berkeley to pilot reusable coffee cup program

Other customers are on board with the change, but admit it will take some getting used to.

"People already pay enough for coffee so if they rather have the convenience of it...It feels like a stopgap rather than a real active solution," said Austin Barnes.

The decision isn't only about good will, we should point out. Blue Bottle is getting ahead of sustainability ordinances being passed in city's across the Bay Area, like the one that will go into effect in Palo Alto in 2021. That ordinance would require restaurants charge for disposable cups and containers.
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