Staunch Environmentalists Fight Berkeley Recycling Expansion Plan

BERKELEY (KCBS) – Berkeley, long a haven of green consumerism, is looking to expand its plastic recycling, but surprisingly, the plan is facing opposition from hardcore environmentalists.

Berkeley has more solar power per capita than anywhere in the country, along with the most Prius owners in North America, so it’s quite predictable that the city is looking to expand it’s recycling program. The expansion would include things such as plastic clam-shell takeout containers and yogurt cups, along with narrow necked water bottles.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

”This is not without controversy,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. “A lot of people feel like you should not be using plastic in the first place. The purists say you shouldn’t buy anything that’s plastic, that you should get glass. But the reality is that while that strategy may be a good one, it’s not working. We need to educate people to make smart choices when they buy things, and whenever possible, not to buy over-packaged things. When they can avoid plastic they ought to do that, but when they can’t we ought to figure out how we can receive it and reuse it again to make something valuable for our society.”

Bates expects to see the recycling expansion go before the city council in a few months.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • fran haselsteiner

    Berkeley did not recycle plastic for years because of the argument that we are not supposed to buy plastic. Tell me, how does one avoid buying plastic? One tries, but it simply is not possible as a practical matter for functioning people. Better to collect and recycle it instead of throwing it into the wastestream.

    Berkeley residents also drive all over the place rather than taking transit.Let’s start there, folks.

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