New bill would ban plastic cups in chain restaurants

California’s war on plastic continues, this time by targeting the containers that restaurants use.

Some California restaurants could be barred from using single-use plastic cups if a proposed state bill becomes law. 

Sen. Catherine Blakespear (D–Encinitas) introduced Senate Bill 1167 into the Legislature to require chain restaurants to provide dine-in customers with reusable cups, instead of single-use plastic or paper cups. 


The big picture: Plastic food services ware produces 500,000 tons of waste annually, according to CalRecycle. 

  • Blakespear noted in a press release that disposable cups are often designed to be recyclable but end up in landfills or polluting the environment. 
  • Paper cups have their own issues as well, since they are usually lined with polyethylene plastic, making them difficult to recycle, according to Blakespear. 
  • Blakespear is also proposing legislation to ban film plastic bags in grocery stores. 

What they’re saying: “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,” Blakespear said. “SB 1167 is a simple, sensible step to reduce waste coming from restaurants.”

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