Today’s Solutions: September 29, 2022

As it becomes increasingly important to change our consumer practices to fight the plastic crisis, Berkeley, California, has started the year off with the right environmental footprint by declaring war on disposable coffee cups.

On January 1, the city rolled out the nation’s most comprehensive law to fight throw-away food packaging. The groundbreaking new rules require restaurants and cafes to charge 25 cents for each disposable cup, make all to-go containers compostable and, starting in July, use reusable food ware, such as porcelain dishes, for customers who are dining in.

The coffee cups headlining the law may not seem like a big deal. After all, aren’t they recyclable or compostable already? In fact, most are lined with plastic, which lands them in the trash heap along with styrofoam and other takeout containers.

Environmental activists hope the new law is the first of many to take a bite out of America’s throwaway habits. Other cities in California and Europe have similar bans in the works, but advocates hope even more will decide to follow Berkeley’s lead.

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