Proposed legislation in California to eliminate plastic waste

14 September 2019

From Guardian 14.9.19

Proposed legislation in California would commit to 75% reduction in plastic waste by 2030, and phase out most single-use packaging

The most ambitious US legislation to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution choking up oceans and piling up in landfills could pass in California Friday – or end up in the dustbin of history. Lawmakers are likely to vote on proposals that aim to phase out most single-use plastic packaging within the next decade.

The two identical bills – one introduced in the state assembly and one in the senate – commit to a 75% reduction in plastic statewide within 10 years. If passed into law, they would require manufacturers to ensure that all single-use packaging produced, sold and distributed in California is fully recyclable or compostable by 2030. Companies that fail to comply could face up to $50,000 a day in fines.

Environmental groups say the legislation is significant because it compels the powerful companies that have allowed cheap, disposable products to proliferate to help solve the pollution crisis.

“Single-use plastic packaging is somewhat of a reckless convenience,” said Geoff Shester of the environmental advocacy group Oceana, which lobbied for the legislation. “But we can’t just put the onus on consumers to solve the problem. We have to get industry involved.”

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