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California Legislature is passing a comprehensive law to reduce non-recyclable plastic – Health and Lifestyle News – Report by AFR

Garbage gone: California lawmakers passed an ambitious law mandating a minimum 30 percent reduction in non-recyclable plastic over six years, while also making manufacturers accountable.

The bill, which passed the Senate on Thursday and the Assembly the day before, still needs Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign.

The measure requires at least 30 percent of plastic packaging in the state to be recyclable by January 1, 2028, and increases that to 65 percent by 2032.

It also requires a 25 percent reduction in non-recyclable expanded polystyrene, colloquially known as Styrofoam, in three years, with an outright ban if that goal is not met.

Single-use plastic containers, meanwhile, must decrease by 25 percent by 2032.

“This is the most comprehensive plastic waste reduction legislation in the United States,” said environmental non-profit organization Nature Conservancy.

According to the NGO CalMatters, about 85 percent of plastic waste in California ends up in landfills.

The bill, officially titled SB54, shifts responsibility for plastic waste from users to producers, a move welcomed by environmental groups.

It clearly states that companies that do not comply with the measures will be fined up to $50,000 per day.

“Reducing plastic pollution at source will reduce emissions to air and water and reduce plastic entering our ocean,” nonprofit organization Oceana tweeted.

“Countless hours of work have led to this moment. I am pleased to report that #SB54 passed the legislature overwhelmingly and will go to @GavinNewsom for his signature,” tweeted State Senator and bill author Ben Allen after his chamber’s vote.

“It’s time for California to lead the nation and the world in curbing the plastic crisis. Our planet cannot wait.”

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