Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, has recently signed a law that highly restricts and limits single-use plastics and packaging. The new law is meant to represent a step forward in the war against plastic waste.
According to CNN, “the law requires that single-use packaging and plastic single-use food service ware be recyclable or compostable by 2032. It also requires by 2032 a 25% reduction in the sales of plastic packaging and for 65% of all single-use plastic packaging to be recycled.”
At the same time, the new law implies the creation of an accountability group that will implement a new recycling initiative under governmental supervision.
The law aims to drastically reduce the manufacturing of plastic, increase recycling and composting, as well as to transfer responsibility for the pollution with plastics to the businesses with the highest impact in this respect.
The California bill was signed on the same day the US Supreme Court decided that the federal Clean Air Act does not grant the Environmental Protection Agency enough jurisdiction to control emissions from power plants. The decision was heavily criticized by environmentalists and scientists who have been trying to make everyone aware that people are running out of time to reverse the damage that has been done and stop the climate crisis.
As this is a clear victory for the climate, the environment, and the communities around plastics operations, leaders in the plastics sector do not support the new legislation. The CEO and president of the Plastics Industry Association, Matt Seaholm, stated that “the Plastics Industry Association is disappointed that, in the end, we cannot support today’s signed version of Senate bill 54. The plastics industry remained dedicated to a final compromise bill that we could get behind, supportive of a circular approach to eliminating plastic waste, which we, unfortunately, do not feel this bill accomplishes.”
According to a survey published last year, plastics are responsible for nearly 232 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.