California Enacts Sweeping Anti-Plastic Waste Law
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an anti-pollution bill that aims to reduce single-use plastics by 25% in the next ten years, along with several other changes.
The legislation expands California’s restrictions on the plastic known as polystyrene. The bill requires a 25% recycling rate, or the Californian government will ban the plastics entirely. Currently, plastic is only recycled at a 6% rate.
Environmental advocates praised the legislation, saying it was a massive step forward for the anti-pollution effort.
“Let me first say this is a really big deal,” Christy Leavitt, the Plastics Campaign Director for Oceana, a non-profit organization that advocates for pollution regulation, told the Los Angeles Times. “California is solidifying itself as an environmental leader by passing the boldest plastics source-reduction policy in the country. It will protect California’s oceans, communities and the climate and really does set the bar on plastics-reduction policies. Californians will see less plastic packaging and foodware in grocery stores, at other stores, in restaurants and in their homes.”
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Though few states have sought to achieve the same level of environmental action in recent years, Canada has recently enacted a total plastic bag and Styrofoam ban by the end of 2022. It will become illegal to import or manufacture single-use plastic items in Canada.
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