Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080, collectively called the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, are identical companion bills that aim to reduce single-use packaging and product waste in California by 75% by 2030. The two bills were proposed by Sen. Ben Allen, who represents parts of southern and western Los Angeles county, and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who represents southern San Diego.
These bills come in the wake of a global plastics crisis, a spokesperson from Allen’s office said in an email statement. The spokesperson said Allen believes banning one product at a time is not working, and a comprehensive approach targeting the most problematic products will be more effective.
The bills mandate California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle, to enact a scoping plan by 2023. The scoping plan aims to investigate the logistics of implementing the bill by communicating with stakeholders about feasibility and participation. CalRecycle also needs to develop economic strategies incentivizing green production and discouraging distribution and improper disposal of single-use packaging and products, as well as determine the strength of the state’s waste management infrastructure, according to the latest version of the bills.
CalRecycle would then be responsible for enacting and enforcing regulations that require producers to reduce single-use packaging and ensure it is either recyclable or compostable by the beginning of 2024. The bills were introduced December 2018 but have since undergone changes after discussion between legislators and interest groups.