Berkeley Mandates 25 Cent Charge on Disposable Cups

If you’re living in Berkeley or planning a visit soon, be sure to stock up on some reusable cups. The City Council passed The Single Use Disposable Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance last week. It requires food establishments to slap a 25 cent charge on disposable drinkware and calls for compostable, reusable serveware in all dine-in facilities by 2020.

The zero-waste policy is one of the most progressive embraced by a city to date. That’s no surprise coming from Berkeley, which has long positioned itself as a leader in America’s eco wars.

The ordinance was introduced by Councilmember Sophie Hahn and received unanimous support from city leaders. Though some businesses expressed concerns about the economic impact, many of them had already begun implementing compostable serveware policies on their own accord.

Despite the city’s eco-friendly bonafides, Berkeley residents use an estimated 40 million single-use cups per year.