Saturday, September 26, 2020

Can You Believe What California Just Did for the World?

plastic bottles, yogurt containers, bags
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

 "Hey, check this out." My boyfriend began reading to me from across the room. "California passes first in nation plastic recyc-"

"And?" I rolled my eyes. I was still disgusted, because plastic recycling isn't nearly as helpful as we've all been led to believe. "Unless we force companies to use recycled plastic at a decent rate, it won't really matter how much we throw into the recycling bin."

"'...requiring plastic beverage containers to contain an increasing amount of recycled material.'" He plodded on, ever patient.

"Wait, what?!"

It turns out that he was reading about recycling legislation that truly is first-in-the-nation. 

On September 24, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 793 into law. It states that beverages sold in plastic containers must contain a specified amount of post-consumer material, effective January 1, 2022.

What are those specified amounts? There are actually a few different levels that will be added to the Public Resources Code, increasing by date.

  • January1, 2020 - December 31, 2024: at least 15% 
  • January1, 2025 - December 31, 2029: at least 25%
  • January 1, 2030: at least 50%
An overwhelming amount of plastic is ending up in our waterways. The knowledge that one state is demanding that companies do something to curb that devastating waste makes me feel hopeful about plastic recycling yet again. 

California is the first state to do this, but many more may follow in its footsteps. Which do you think will be next?

No comments:

Post a Comment