California Legislators Take Aim at Plastics with New Bill Package, Including Contested Producer Responsibility Plan

  • California lawmakers have reintroduced SB 54, a bill that would require all single-use disposable packaging, including food service packaging, to be recyclable or compostable by January 2032. The bill debuted as part of a unified Democrat-led package of almost a dozen other plastic waste-related bills on March 9.
  • As currently written, the bill leaves out a major part of previous versions, which had required single-use plastic packaging to have a 75% recycling or composting rate by 2032. Bill sponsors anticipate SB 54 will undergo more updates as the legislative session goes on. 
  • Other new bills aim to standardize recycling labeling on packaging, set minimum recycled content standards for thermoform packaging, and prohibit the state from counting exported plastic scrap in its recycling rate calculations if it is landfilled, burned or dumped.

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