Zero Waste Berkeley—Eliminating Disposable Foodware

Single-use disposable foodware comprises 2/3 of Berkeley’s street litter.

This litter goes on to pollute the waterway, bay, and beaches, resulting in ecosystem damage and harm to wildlife and also presenting the City and University with significant regulatory, compliance, cleanup, and disposal costs. With the help of Plastic Solutions Fund, The Ecology Center Berkeley and several partner organizations have launched Zero Waste Berkeley, a project to support the development and implementation of a bold, replicable, city-wide zero waste ordinance geared toward getting back to reducing and re-using rather than simply attempting to recycle more.

The project is creating a culture of reduction and reuse by offering economic incentives for using re-useable food and beverage containers, providing low-cost containers, offering technical assistance to businesses, and piloting a reusable-service with a mobile app. Zero Waste Berkeley builds on the extensive groundwork already laid by The Ecology Center over 40+ years. The pilot (the first of its kind) will provide a model that cities across the globe can adopt, and it is also spurring press coverage to advance the zero-waste dialogue and the re-use agenda.

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