California bill would reduce single-use plastic products 25%

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – An ambitious proposal from California aims to reduce the production of single-use plastic products by 25% over the next decade to sustain the contamination of ubiquitous material.

A bill introduced on Thursday night aims to bring together environmental and business groups to avoid a similar voting measure that will be presented to voters in November. But at least two of the three proponents of the voting measure are not yet on board.

Democratic Sen. Ben Allen, the author of the bill, said that if the proposal is approved, California would become a leader in reducing plastic waste, focusing on disposing of plastic at source, not just recycling it once produced.

“It’s true that outside of that, we need less plastic overall,” Allen said Friday.

Plastics have long been the target of environmental groups. Most of the plastic is not recycled and millions of tons are polluting the world’s oceans, damaging wildlife and appearing in drinking water. Efforts are being made to stop this contamination, and states are trying to reduce the use of plastic food bags, straws and other products. This month, the federal government said it would phase out the sale of disposable plastics, such as water bottles. national parks.

According to the bill, a 25% reduction in single-use plastic products would begin in 2032. It would apply to manufacturers of products such as detergents, toothpaste and food packaging, as well as companies such as Amazon that package postal products. Plastic should be replaced with other materials, packaging should be reduced or products should be marketed as reusable, and it should be made easier for consumers. It would not apply to bottles of water or other beverages, which are regulated by various recycling laws.

Beyond plastic, producers of all single-use products, including paper or glass, should ensure that they recycle 65% by 2032. It is estimated that less than 10% of US plastic is now recycled.

Manufacturers of disposable products should merge into “producer responsibility organizations” that will establish the rules under state supervision. Organizations are expected to raise $ 500 million annually for a state fund to reduce plastic pollution. Producers who do not comply with the rules may. he will be fined $ 50,000 a day.

The legislation was the result of lengthy negotiations between Allen’s office, the environment and business groups. Allen said he does not expect the plastics industry to accept the bill. But he hopes they will not lobby because it could be more acceptable than the voting measure and they should not have to spend money trying to defeat it.

“While California’s large and small businesses face a maze of environmental regulations as a result of this bill, we believe this proposal ensures the certainty of long-term recycling and packaging policy,” said Jennifer Barrera, president of the California Chamber of Commerce. a statement.

However, there was no immediate commitment from the supporters of the measure to withdraw it. Voting measures can be lifted until June 30, which means the bill should win a quick passage.

“It simply came to our notice then. Not a day before. We are not going anywhere, ”said Linda Escalante, the promoter of the Natural Resources Defense and the promoter of the measure, in a statement.

Caryl Hart, vice president of the California Coastal Commission, and Michael Sangiacomo, former chairman of Recology Waste Management, are two other sponsors of the vote. Sangiacomo said in a statement that the law does not do enough to uphold the measure. He did not go any further.

The vote measure calls for a 25% reduction in plastic production, starting two years earlier. Food vendors would ban the use of Styrofoam and similar products. Legislation would not do that; instead, it would require 20% recycling of such products. Anja Brandon, a U.S. Plastic Policy Analyst at Ocean Conservancy, said this is a “de facto ban” because the material cannot be recycled.

The vote measure puts more regulatory power at the disposal of the California Department of Resource Recycling and Recovery and puts a 1 cent fee on all single-use plastic products. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

Ocean Conservancy is an environmental group that supports the bill. Brandon called it the strongest plastics law in the country. His organization estimated that the bill would reduce plastics in the state by 23 million tonnes in 10 years.

“Walk down a food aisle, everything you see (everything plastic) will be affected,” he said.

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California bill would reduce single-use plastic products 25% Source link California bill would reduce single-use plastic products 25%

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