San Francisco

San Francisco Proposed Legislation Would Make Disposable Containers 25 Cents

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation Tuesday that aims to reduce single-use foodware and accessories in the city.

The ordinance would require all food vendors in San Francisco to provide reusable foodware to dine-in customers. It would also put in place a 25-cent charge on disposable cups and food containers to encourage consumers to bring in their own cups and containers.

The 25-cent charge would be kept by the food vendor and would not apply to purchases made with food stamps or through the federal supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children.

If passed, the ordinance would take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

The legislation aligns with San Francisco's 2018 Zero Waste Goals, which aim to reduce all solid waste generation, including recyclable and compostable waste, by 15 percent and the amount of waste sent to landfills by 50 percent in 2030.

"The amount of plastic waste we dump into our environment is a crisis on the level of climate change, and the plastics and petroleum industry has emerged as the worst offender," Peskin said in a news release.

"We will pay the costs of this harm one way or another, whether through the increased cost of waste management, or the enormous cost of cleaning up our oceans and waterways. We must take steps now to change our behavior and hopefully prevent the worst of the worst harm to our planet," he said.

In the same vein, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday also unanimously passed a price increase for bags provided by retail stores. Any bag provided to a customer for checkout will now be 25 cents, a 15-cent increase.

Other Bay Area cities are also taking action when it comes to single-use plastics. San Mateo, Los Altos, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Pacifica all charge 25 cents per checkout bag.

In January, Berkeley passed a disposable foodware and litter-reduction ordinance that, according to Mayor Jesse Arrequin, was the most ambitious in the country.

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