AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council is looking at a new way to reduce the use of single-use plastics at bars and restaurants.
According to the council agenda, one of the items asks the city manager to “implement a strategy, engage with stakeholders, and provide public information campaigns,” about the matter.
Supporting council members want the City to work with the Texas Restaurant Association to encourage businesses to replace single-use plastic and Styrofoam with biodegradable materials.
At Counter Culture in east Austin, compostable take-out items are the only ones you’ll see.
“Ever since we opened in 2009,” said Abby Garland, who works there. “There are sometimes where you know it’s not completely feasible to continue on with this, but it’s our mission.”
At a different shop across town, it’s a different story.
“Well, you’ve got your lids, your plastic cups, straws,” said Zoe, who works there. She asked us not to disclose the name of the location. “The cups come in plastic bags, as do the lids.”
The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) said because businesses all have different products, customers and costs, “it’s never going to be one-size-fits-all.”
Madison Gessner with TRA said the price of things like biodegradable take-out containers and cups can get expensive.
“It can also be really costly, so looking at what this looks like across the board,” she said.
That’s why the resolution also includes ways to encourage businesses to only offer plastic items if a customer asks.
The resolution will also explore ways to reduce the use of disposable plastic water bottles in general.