Editor’s Note – Governor Newsom’s office released the following statement:
On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court kneecapped the federal government’s ability to reduce pollution and tackle climate change, California took nation-leading steps to cut plastic pollution and hold the plastics industry accountable for their waste.
SACRAMENTO – ColoradoBoulevard.net:
June 30, 2022, marked the end of California’s legislative session and the last chance for one bill, SB-54 Solid waste: reporting, packaging, and plastic food service ware, to become law.
By Cheryl Auger
In a whirlwind starting last Tuesday, SB-54 made its way through the various committee meetings and the full Assembly and Senate floor hearings and to the Governor’s desk early Thursday morning. By Thursday night landmark legislation was approved.
SB 54 uniquely approaches ways to reduce plastic packaging and pollution. SB 54 requires all plastic covered material offered for sale, distributed, or imported into the state meet the following goals:
- By January 1, 2024, each plastic producer will be required to join the producer responsibility organization (PRO) and develop plans to reduce every plastic component they produce.
- By January 1, 2025 expanded polystyrene needs to reach a 25% recycled rate. If this number isn’t met, polystyrene will be banned.
- By January 1, 2028, at least 30% of plastic items sold, distributed or imported into the state must be recyclable.
- By January 1, 2032, 65% of plastic items sold, distributed or imported into the state must be recyclable and. a 25% reduction in single-use plastic waste
- By January 1, 2032, each plastic item must achieve a 25% reduction by weight and 25% reduction by plastic component.
This legislation was desperately needed. Plastic waste generation has increased. Only 5% of plastic is actually recycled and little recycling infrastructure exists in the United States. Legislation signed into law last year only allows bales of one type of plastic to be exported. We used to send mixed waste bales offshore, but only plastics made from resin 1, 2 and 5 are actually recyclable.
Assemblymember Chris Holden, Chair of the Appropriations Committee, voted in favor of this legislation. There were only two “NO” votes counted for all of the meetings, indicating strong bipartisan support for this legislation. Senator Portantino also voted yes on SB 54 when it went before the full Senate for vote on the morning of June 30.
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