California Passes First-in-Nation Plastics Recycling law

Friday, September 25, 2020
Publication: San Jose Mercury

In a move aimed at reducing huge amounts of plastic litter in the oceans, along roadways and other parts of the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a first-in-the-nation law requiring plastic beverage containers to contain an increasing amount of recycled material.

Under it, companies that produce everything from sports drinks to soda to bottled water must use 15% recycled plastic in their bottles by 2022, 25% recycled plastic by 2025, and 50% recycled plastic by 2030.

Supporters of the new law say it will help increase demand for recycled plastic, curb litter and reduce consumption of oil and gas, which are used to manufacture new plastics.

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In a legislative session hamstrung by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, the bill, AB 793 by Assemblymembers Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, was considered to be among the most significant environmental laws that passed this year.

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"The time has come for companies to step up and help us be good environmental stewards," said Ting. "By boosting the market for used plastics, fewer containers will end up as litter."