Companies selling shampoo, food, and other products wrapped in plastics have a decade to cut down on their use of the polluting material if they want their wares on California store shelves.
Major legislation passed and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday aims to significantly reduce single-use plastic packaging in the state and drastically boost recycling rates for what remains. It sets the nation's most stringent requirements for the use of plastic packaging, with lawmakers saying they hope it sets a precedent for other states to follow.
“We're ruining the planet and we've got to change it,” Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat, said before voting on the bill.
What the bill has to say about the use of plastics
Under the bill, plastics producers would have to reduce plastics in single-use products by 10% by 2027; increasing to 25% by 2032. That reduction in plastic packaging can be met through a combination of reducing package sizing, switching to a different material, or making the product easily reusable or refillable. Also by 2032, plastic would have to be recycled at a rate of 65%, a massive jump from today's rates. It wouldn't apply to plastic beverage bottles, which have their own recycling rules .
Efforts to limit plastic packaging have failed in the Legislature for years, but the threat of a similar ballot measure going before voters in November prompted business groups to come to the negotiating table. The measure's three main backers withdrew it from the ballot after the bill passed, though they expressed concern the plastics industry will try to weaken the requirements.
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