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California State Senate to Vote on Restricting Polystyrene Plastic Waste

An affirmative vote would send the bill to the State Assembly for further discussion.

The California State Senate will vote this week on SB 705, a bill that would restrict the use of polystyrene plastic containers. More than 100 cities in California have already passed similar restrictions, but the state senate decided against such restrictions last spring.

Polystyrene containers are very popular among food services businesses due to their affordability and durability, but they have had very low recycling rates historically. The bill would prohibit food vendors from using polystyrene containers after January 1, 2022.

The Los Angeles Times has more information:

Plastic trash is a big problem for the world's oceans and lakes, and for the creatures that depend on them for life. Happily, the public is starting to wake up to the fact that decades of wanton use of disposable plastic, from Bic lighters to Solo cups, is doing environmental damage that is quickly approaching climate-change levels of concern. Unlike carbon emissions, however, plastic litter is easy to see with the naked eye, making it very difficult to deny its existence.

That why it was surprising, and dismaying, that California state Senators last Spring declined to take a stand on one particular plastic scourge, polystyrene takeout containers. All the more perplexing, they did so on the very same day they were passing an important environmental law requiring that 100% of the state's electricity be generated from renewable resources by 2045. (The latter bill ended up failing in the state Assembly.)

Read the full story here.

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