Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature Network:

Should Cities Ban Disposable Cups and Plates?
This isn't a tempest in a disposable teacup, but it is a big problem.
Lloyd Alter
February 10, 2016, 3:45 p.m.

Fifty years ago, litter wasn’t much of a problem. Cities didn’t even have litter bins; people would go to restaurants or diners, sit down and drink out of mugs and eat off china plates.

Now, cities everywhere are overrun with the detritus of the fast-food industry, from food packaging to coffee and drink cups. According to Clean Water Action, quoted in Fast Company, 49 percent of San Francisco’s litter is from fast-food restaurants. It all ends up in the streets or in the city's litter bins, which get emptied at taxpayers’ expense. This is not paper that can be recycled. Many of these coffee cups are what Bill McDonough of "Cradle to Cradle" fame calls "monstrous hybrids" — paper cups lined with plastic to prevent leaks, but that also cannot be recycled. So these items have to be separated and landfilled.

In Vancouver, the city is considering a number of options, including deposits, take-back programs and even a ban on disposable coffee cups. From the report:

This report recommends that staff review options to target the distribution, use, and recycling of these items, including exploring options to restrict or ban their use, and report back to Council. Staff will also investigate potential options requiring producers, distributors, and retailers to take responsibility for the recovery of these materials, including possible take-back programs.

Click here to read the entire article.

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