Legislation aims to increase recyclability and cut waste, but not everyone is on board

California is taking steps to reduce plastic waste in the state. The California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act requires that all single-use plastic and polystyrene packaging and utensils be recyclable, reusable, refillable, or compostable by 2030. It also calls for all single-use plastic production to be cut by 25 percent by that same year. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times outlines what’s entailed in the proposed legislation, and what kind of pushback it’s getting. The article points out that past efforts have repeatedly failed due to industry lobbying.

Jay Ziegler, director of policy and external affairs for the Nature Conservancy in California, is quoted in the article. He said, “Honestly, the thinking driving this ballot measure is to get the attention of industry in a way that we haven’t been able to get in the Legislature. And while we’ve achieved incremental reforms in labeling and process in respect to plastics, we really haven’t tackled the reality that we are drowning in plastics.”

The proposed law also requires producers to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics that CalRecycle determines are unnecessary for a product’s delivery, and it would prohibit food vendors from using polystyrene containers.

A poll cited in the article indicated that 86 percent of California voters support government policies to reduce single-use plastic, while 91 percent say they are concerned about plastic pollution and its impact on the environment and our oceans. An additional 72 percent support policies that specifically reduce the use of plastic packaging from online shopping. That poll was conducted by the environmental organization Oceana, and the results aligned with past surveys that indicate about two-third of Californians support similar environmental legislation.

Opponents say the legislation gives too much authority to CalRecycle. The coalition of opponents includes the California Business Roundtable, the California Retailers Association, and the California Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full article in the LA Times here.

Is your state considering legislation similar to California’s? If they aren’t yet, they probably will before too long. Improving sustainability by reducing waste is becoming a top priority, and some people believe the only way to make real progress is by legally requiring businesses to make changes. Are you ready for how this could impact you? Give us a call at AMGRAPH! We’ll show you how to minimize the environmental impact of packaging—and be ready for any future legislative requirements.