[GRRN] Berkeley CA Passes 'Unified Plastics Policy'

From: Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Date: Wed Jul 05 2000 - 12:07:16 EDT

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    The Berkeley [California] City Council has adopted the
    following resolution establishing a comprehensive and
    unified plastics policy, including the following statement
    in the accompanying staff report:

    "Support legislation
    mandating the use of recycled plastic feedstock or
    enforcing manufacturer responsibility. . The City has
    already taken a position in support of SB 1110, which
    requires recycled content or a minimum level of reuse or
    recycling as a condition of selling a rigid plastic container
    in California. Staff will inform Council of pending
    legislation and campaigns for manufacturer responsibility
    that could benefit from municipal support. The Ecology
    Center staff person will also help gather support for such

    Berkeley City Council

    Resolution 60,643-N.S.


    WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Berkeley
    requested that City staff and the contractors develop a
    comprehensive and unified plastic policy; and

    WHEREAS, plastics are a growing and problematic part
    of the waste stream; and

    WHEREAS, the City of Berkeley is committed to
    responsibly handling all waste materials including
    reducing, reusing and recycling before landfilling; and

    WHEREAS, the Solid Waste Management Commission
    unanimously approved the proposed policy.

    Council of the City of Berkeley that the City of Berkeley
    adopts the following policy concerning plastic in the
    waste stream:

    1. The City of Berkeley believes first and foremost that
    the manufacturers and producers of plastic products and
    packaging must take some form of stewardship over their
    material. This includes designing products for reuse or
    recyclability, using recycled material in their products,
    and supporting the recycling infrastructure

    2. The City of Berkeley shall make every effort to reduce
    the amount of plastic packaging that is ultimately
    landfilled. Therefore, plastics with viable markets may
    be added to the collection programs in Berkeley, and
    citizens will be encouraged to avoid purchasing plastic

    3. The City of Berkeley recognizes that not all material
    collected at the curb for recycling is incorporated into the
    same product from which it came. However the City will
    encourage a "bottle to bottle" policy, or reuse, first and
    foremost, for plastic beverage containers collected
    through City sanctioned programs, whenever possible, as
    a means of addressing the exponential growth of plastic.
    The City of Berkeley recognizes that plastic recycling is
    still in a nascent stage and is willing to take steps to
    prepare the material for the highest possible use (e.g.,
    bottle to bottle), as we did for glass and paper in the past.

    4. The City of Berkeley recognizes that reusable
    packaging is extremely effective in reducing solid waste
    and will encourage any local efforts for refillable plastic
    containers for beverages, solid foods, and other grocery
    products. The City of Berkeley encourages the trend for
    reusable commercial transport packaging such as
    collapsible plastic pallets, reusable bakery buckets and
    replacements for plastic film.

    5. The City of Berkeley will promote and encourage
    source reduction and recycling of plastics and purchase of
    products containing recycled materials, by all City
    Departments and contractors.

    6. The City of Berkeley recognizes that as a material,
    certain plastics are very problematic. The City will
    investigate the negative environmental impacts of
    polyvinyl chloride in the construction sector and from
    consumer packaging and recommend appropriate
    actions. The City will continue to enforce its Styrofoam
    ban ordinance.

    [For more information contact Tanya Levy at
    510-644-8891 x 238.]


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