We Have a Plastic Problem
It's time to talk about our plastic problem. All those plastic beverage bottles we use are piling up in landfills. Why? Because there's very little demand for used plastic materials, and China and other overseas markets are refusing to buy any more of our waste. These containers now have nowhere to go but warehouses and landfills … or worse, our environment. By one estimate, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050 if we don't do anything about our plastic bottle dilemma.
That's where my bill, AB 792, comes in. It essentially creates a market for used plastic by requiring plastic bottle producers to start re-using the plastic they've already made. The proposal establishes a timeframe and minimum content standards that they must abide by when making beverage containers:
- January 2021: 25% minimum content
- January 2025: 50% minimum content
- January 2030: 75% minimum content
These companies like to tout the recyclability of their plastic bottles. But according to Californians Against Waste: it's time to compel them to put their money where their mouth is and buy back the scrap they created to make more bottles. I agree.
The European Union has already set a goal of 25% recycled content in their plastic bottles by 2025 and 30% by 2030. California should join other world leaders and be a force on this issue with stricter requirements. There's a terrible price to pay if manufacturers are allowed to continue making new plastic.
AB 792 is moving along in the Legislative process, building momentum and winning key approvals. I'm working to get it to the Governor's desk by the mid-September deadline.
Assemblymember, 19th District