California's plastic pollution law gains momentum

California's plastic pollution law gains momentum

Sustainability

California continues to advance its legislation aimed at reducing single-use plastic and packaging waste. As the state grapples with the environmental consequences of excessive plastic consumption, policymakers are taking decisive steps to address this pressing issue.

Recently, California moved closer to implementing one of the most comprehensive measures in the country to combat plastic waste. Plastic pollution poses significant challenges to both our climate and ecosystems, with recycling rates remaining alarmingly low.

In 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act (SB 54) into law. This legislation mandates that producers take responsibility for reducing single-use plastic waste and ensuring the recyclability or compostability of product packaging. To formalise the implementation of this landmark law, the state has now released draft regulations, marking the beginning of the rule-making process.

Key provisions of SB 54 include:

  • A requirement for producers to reduce single-use plastic packaging and food ware sales by 25% by 2032.
  • Mandating that all single-use packaging and plastic food ware be recyclable or compostable.
  • Setting a target to recycle 65% of single-use plastic packaging and food ware.

Moreover, the law establishes a fund, financed by industry contributions totalling $5 billion, to address plastic pollution in communities most affected by this environmental challenge.

Governor Newsom said: For too long, plastic polluters have passed the buck on the growing burden of plastic waste contaminating the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. California is leading the way to hold producers responsible, drive sustainable innovation and green jobs, and support the most impacted communities. We have to act now, with urgency, to give our kids a future without plastic pollution.

As California forges ahead with its ambitious efforts to tackle plastic pollution, the state reaffirms its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. This landmark legislation signals a significant step towards a cleaner, greener future for all Californians.

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