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Environment & Energy Report

Disposable-Free Food Containers Now the Law in Berkeley, Calif.

Jan. 23, 2019, 3:50 PM

Customers toting single-use cups from Starbucks and McDonald’s will have to pay for the convenience in Berkeley, Calif.

The City Council Jan. 22 unanimously approved an ordinanced requiring food consumed on-site be served in reusable, durable dishes, cups, and utensils. Wrappers and tray liners are still allowed under the law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, with waivers under specific circumstances. Takeaway food containers must be compostable. Takeout foodware that isn’t compostable must be recyclable. Disposable cups will cost 25 cents in the city that was the first in the nation to ban polystyrene.

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