California Legislature Considering Bills Regulating Single-Use Plastics

Legislation prohibiting or regulating the use of single-use plastics is proliferating at state and local levels, and with the recent announcement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at national levels as well. Currently, California's legislature has taken up a bill that would regulate consumer products and packaging sold in the state.

California’s SB 54 and AB 1080, both named the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, would require two California state agencies to implement regulations to achieve a significant reduction of the waste created by single-use products and packaging by 2030.

The legislation establishes requirements for companies to conduct source reduction of single-use products and packaging into reusable items. The proposal also requires all single-use products and packaging to be recyclable or compostable by 2030, and that companies reduce waste of single-use plastic items by 75 percent. CalRecycle, which is one of the state agencies that would be tasked with adopting the regulations, would require companies to demonstrate the 75 percent waste reduction rate averaged over three years. The prescribed methods for achieving the legislation's goals are recycling and source reduction by companies that manufacture or sell single-use plastic products and packaging.

For more analysis on the bills and their impact, click here for a deeper dive on the issue by law firm Arnold & Porter.

filed under June 2019
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