A pair of California bills aim to go wide-angle by reducing such waste over the next decade. The near-identical bills, SB54 and AB1080, would curb single-use plastics by 75 percent by 2030. It’s an ambitious goal considering the mountain of throwaway material the state cranks out: 2.4 million tons of plastic packaging and products were taken to dumps in 2017.
Plastics are convenient and cheap, but they’re made of a nightmare material that essentially never degrades. While some water bottles can be recycled, most packing materials, containers and bags can’t be. Tossing the stuff into blue recycling bins doesn’t mean the items always get reused.
The Senate bill by Ben Allen, a Santa Monica Democrat, and the Assembly measure by Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego Democrat, have made it through first-stop committees. The two plans would require a serious cut in use-and-toss plastics and oblige replacements that can be recycled. A long list of environmental and outdoor groups back the idea along with the Bay Area’s Recology waste-collection, recycling and composting firm.