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California Continues Fight Against Single-use Plastics, Global Recycling Crisis

California Continues Fight Against Single-use Plastics, Global Recycling Crisis

Three bills in California aim to limit the production of virgin plastics and phase out single-use plastics by 2030.

Three bills to address single-use plastics and plastics recycling in California may soon hit Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. However, they face opposition from plastics makers and consumer goods companies seeking to eliminate or weaken the proposals.

A bill by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) would require beverage containers to contain no less than 75 percent recycled plastic content by 2035. Additionally, phasing out non-recyclable, single-use packaging—contained in bills AB 1080 and SB 54—aims to limit the production of virgin plastics by requiring that containers be made from materials that can be recycled or composted.

San Francisco-based Recology has been involved in lobbying for both bills, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. And meeting contamination standards has been an obstacle for many Bay Area cities’ zero waste goals. Because buyers in today’s market want bales of materials composed of the same type of material, with no liquid or food waste contamination, Recology sorts recycled materials into 14 different types, including seven different categories of plastics.

Los Angeles Times has more:

With pressure mounting to address the state’s recycling crisis, California lawmakers are close to deciding on three far-reaching pieces of plastics legislation, including one that would phase out non-recyclable single-use packaging containers by 2030.

All three bills are potentially close to landing on the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, but they face varying levels of opposition from plastics makers and consumer goods companies, some of which have mounted 11th-hour campaigns to kill or weaken the proposals.

California has been a trailblazer in banning single-use plastics bags and turning plastic straws into fast-food pariahs, but a sunset for single-use containers would thrust the state into new territory. So would a bill by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), which would require beverage containers to contain no less than 75% recycled plastic content by 2035.

Read the full article here.

San Francisco Chronicle has more:

At Recology’s recycling center on a San Francisco pier, huge mounds of unsorted paper, plastic, aluminum and glass lie on warehouse floors. Workers operate tractors and haul in loads collected from blue bins across the city’s neighborhoods, businesses and construction sites.

It’s about what you’d expect from a recycling facility that handles about 4,000 tons of recyclables a week — with one noticeable difference.

“Look at that — it’s all clean,” said Recology public relations manager Robert Reed. “You won’t smell any garbage here.”

Read the full article here.

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