California state lawmakers are pursuing phasing-out the sale and distribution of the most widely used, single-use plastic items. The lawmakers behind the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (SB 54 and AB 1080) plan to put the onus on manufacturers by having them greatly reduce production of these plastics by 2030. “We don’t think we can just go straw-by-straw,” said bill co-author Sen. Henry Stern. “We think if we’re actually going to tackle this crisis, it’s more trying to go to the people making consumer products … to give them the opportunity to innovate.”
The bill calls for manufacturers to stop making as many single-use type plastic items as possible. And whatever single-use plastic still is manufactured would need to be recyclable or compostable. CalRecycle will then have to figure out how to enforce the proposed law, and all these actions together should reduce single-use packaging and products sold in California by 75 percent by 2030. Proponents say California recycles less than 15 percent of single-use plastics.
“This legislation provides a comprehensive plan to transition manufacturers and consumers toward more sustainable packaging and products,” co-author Sen. Ben Allen said in a statement. “It is time for California to take this crisis seriously and set a course to address it that will be a model for other states and countries.”