[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 campaigns."]

Berkeley, California, City Council

Resolution 60,643-N.S. June 27, 2000


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.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the 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 packaging.
  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.

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