Fw: NEWS RELEASE: Sen. Blakespear Introduces Legislation to Require Reusable Cups at Chain Restaurants

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Feb 19, 2024, 2:08:43 PMFeb 19
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PRESS   RELEASE                                                                                     February 14, 2024

Contact: Andrew LaMar, (916) 639-2370


Sen. Blakespear Introduces Bill to Require Reusable Cups at Dine-In Chain Restaurants

SB 1167 aims to help reduce the 500,000 tons of food service ware waste produced in California each year 


SACRAMENTO – Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, introduced legislation on Wednesday to require chain restaurants in California to provide dine-in customers with non-toxic reusable cups, instead of single-use plastic or paper cups that often end up in landfills.


SB 1167 follows similar ordinances passed by many cities designed to limit plastic waste coming from restaurants. Plastic food service ware, which includes cups, produces 500,000 tons of waste each year, according to CalRecycle.


“California has a massive plastic waste problem, and if we are serious about protecting our environment and living sustainably, we must reduce it across the board,” Sen. Blakespear said. “SB 1167 is a simple, sensible step to reduce waste coming from restaurants.”


Disposable cups are frequently designated as recyclable or compostable, but many end up in landfills or polluting the environment and often with material, such as plastic tops or sleeves, that come with them. In addition, paper cups are usually lined with polyethylene plastic, making them difficult to recycle or compost.


The legislation is supported by The 5 Gyres Institute, Californians Against Waste, Heal the Bay and Surfrider Foundation.


“Reuse is the foremost solution to preventing single-use waste at its source,” said Alison Waliszewski, director of policy and programs at The 5 Gyres Institute. “Disposable plastic cups are among the most common items found in 5 Gyres’ TrashBlitz waste characterization studies conducted in California, in both urbanized and wilderness settings. Replacing these cups with nontoxic, reusable cups for customers dining in will reduce plastic pollution, cut costs for businesses, and shift consumer behavior towards reuse. It’s a win-win for California!”


"There is a reason why ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’ come before recycling in the ‘3 Rs,’ and there are few examples of more egregious and wasteful consumption than being given a disposable cup when you are drinking coffee at a café,” said Nick Lapis, the advocacy director for Californians Against Waste. “Things we use for minutes shouldn't pollute the earth for centuries."


"When we dine in at a restaurant or coffee shop, it just makes sense to use a reusable cup,” said Emily Parker, a marine and coastal scientist at Heal The Bay. “Choosing reusable products reduces plastic pollution and can save restaurants money. Cutting back on single-use beverage containers not only keeps trash out of our landfills and oceans, but also reduces the need to make new containers, preventing that pollution from the very start.”


“The Surfrider Foundation is excited to co-sponsor this bill to pave the way toward making reusable cups for dine-in mainstream,” said Miho Ligare, the plastic pollution policy manager for Surfrider Foundation. “Surfrider's robust Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program demonstrates that reuse benefits businesses by saving money, creating a better customer experience, and helping protect our environment and communities.” 


In addition to SB 1167, Sen. Blakespear has also authored SB 1053, which would to ban the use of film plastic bags by grocery stores and stores that sell food.


Elected in 2022, Sen. Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern San Diego County and part of Orange County. To learn more about the district and Sen. Blakespear, visit her Senate website.  






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