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Environmentalist Launches Drive To Reduce Plastic Usage In California

Recycling Plastic

Photo: Getty Images

Environmentalist have launched a drive to reduce single-use plastic bags and containers in California.

The initiative, known as the California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, would require all single-use plastic packaging to be recyclable, reusable, and refillable by 2030. According to the Los Angeles Times, currently 85% of single-use plastic are not recycled. However, business and trade groups say it will lead to higher costs. “Honestly, the thinking driving this ballot measure is to get the attention of industry in a way that we haven’t been able to get in the Legislature,” said Jay Ziegler, director of policy and external affairs for the Nature Conservancy in California, a proponent of the measure. “And while we’ve achieved incremental reforms in labeling and process in respect to plastics, we really haven’t tackled the reality that we are drowning in plastics.”

The proposed law would reportedly also require producers to reduce or get rid of any single-use plastic packaging or food ware that CalRecycle determines unnecessary for that product or food item’s delivery, and would prohibit food vendors from distributing polystyrene food containers. Surveys taken by the Public Policy Institute of California between 2019 and 2021 shows roughly two-thirds of Californians support legislation and are concerned about plastic pollution, however businesses and trade groups that produce or distribute single-use plastic items, however, are overwhelmingly opposed.

The measure will be on the ballot this November.

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