OFFICE OF GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM
New California law requires all packaging to be recyclable or compostable, significantly cutting plastics use
Legislation strengthens state’s recycling system and shifts burden of plastic waste from Californians to the plastics and packaging industry
SACRAMENTO – On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court kneecapped the federal government’s ability to reduce pollution and tackle climate change, California took nation-leading steps to cut plastic pollution and hold the plastics industry accountable for their waste.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 54, requiring all packaging in the state to be recyclable or compostable by 2032, cutting plastic packaging by 25 percent in 10 years and requiring 65 percent of all single-use plastic packaging to be recycled in the same timeframe.
Additionally, the legislation shifts the plastic pollution burden from consumers to the plastics industry by raising $5 billion from industry members over 10 years to assist efforts to cut plastic pollution and support disadvantaged communities hurt most by the damaging effects of plastic waste.
“Our kids deserve a future free of plastic waste and all its dangerous impacts, everything from clogging our oceans to killing animals – contaminating the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. No more. California won’t tolerate plastic waste that’s filling our waterways and making it harder to breathe. We’re holding polluters responsible and cutting plastics at the source,” said Governor Newsom.
SB 54 is the most significant overhaul of California’s plastics and packaging recycling policy in history, goes further than any other state on cutting plastics production at the source and continues to build a circular economy that is necessary to combat climate change. A global study in 2018 found that only nine percent of plastics actually get recycled – leaving 91 percent to litter land and oceans.
Read more at https://www.gov.ca.gov/2022/06/30/governor-newsom-signs-legislation-cutting-harmful-plastic-pollution-to-protect-communities-oceans-and-animals/
Chase DeFeliciantonio, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Dawn has just broken over Recology’s vast Blossom Valley Organics composting facility, about 70 miles east of San Francisco in Vernalis (San Joaquin County). The cold fall air hits like a slap to the face as orange light creeps over the horizon.
As the sun rises over the site, one of six the company operates statewide, a fine grit rides on the air, which is thick with the smell of earthy decomposition.
Operations Supervisor Clifford Reposa casts a wary eye on a 25-ton trailer of organic waste as it is hoisted on a hydraulic lift almost vertically against the pale and reddening sky.
“Not good. Lots of plastic bags,” Reposa mutters, his arms crossed as he watches a flood of pumpkins, apple cores, bits of wood and piles of leaves trucked in from San Francisco tumble out, adding to the towering piles of refuse that dwarf huge bulldozers moving it around in a deafening, mechanical dance.
This load of refuse is just a fraction of the roughly 1,500 tons of compostable material the 120-acre facility takes in every day from San Francisco and parts of the East Bay and South Bay. It comes here to be reborn as natural fertilizer used on vineyards and farms, and in varietals that are crafted specifically for different types of soil.
After those plastic bags and nonorganic materials are plucked out by men, women and gargantuan machines with names like The Titan, what remains will be placed into heaping piles that eventually break down into dark compost some farmers call “black gold.” Those heaps that stand higher than a person are spritzed with water and heated and cooled for two months to help trillions of microorganisms turn the solid waste into rich food for hungry crops.
Read more at https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2022/california-compost-law-climate-change-effect/