California Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Tackle Plastic Pollution, Promote a More Sustainable & Renewable Economy and Protect Californians from Toxic Chemicals
SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Taking action to combat plastic pollution and advance a more sustainable and renewable economy, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of legislation designed to raise consumer awareness and industry accountability, complementing his bold $270 million investment to modernize recycling systems and promote a more circular economy as part of the California Comeback Plan’s historic $15 billion climate package. The Governor also signed bills to protect Californians and the environment from harmful chemicals.
Among the measures signed today is SB 343 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), which requires products to meet benchmarks in order to be advertised or labeled as recyclable, helping consumers to clearly identify which products are recyclable in California.
“California’s hallmark is solving problems through innovation, and we’re harnessing that spirit to reduce the waste filling our landfills and generating harmful pollutants driving the climate crisis,” said Governor Newsom. “With today’s action and bold investments to transform our recycling systems, the state continues to lead the way to a more sustainable and resilient future for the planet and all our communities.”
The Governor last month announced that the California Comeback Plan’s $15 billion climate package – the largest such investment in state history – includes $270 million to support a circular economy that advances sustainability and helps reduce short-lived climate pollutants from the waste sector. To raise demand for recyclables and attract green industry to California, the package includes funding to support the work of CalRecycle’s new Office of Innovation in Recycling and Remanufacturing. Additional funds will support organic waste infrastructure, food recovery efforts and composting, remanufacturing and recycling infrastructure, including investments in disadvantaged communities.
Governor Newsom today also signed AB 881 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), which discourages practices resulting in exporting plastic that becomes waste and ensures that only exports of truly recycled plastics count toward state waste reduction and recycling metrics. SB 619 by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) provides local governments additional paths to meet the climate goals of California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant law. AB 1311 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) allows more flexible operations for beverage container recycling centers to reduce overhead and increase redemption access statewide. And AB 1201 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) strengthens labeling requirements to ensure products labeled “compostable” are actually compostable and to keep harmful chemicals out of California’s compost stream.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), often called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment, have been linked to serious health hazards and have been found in the bodies of almost every human studied. To further reduce exposure and increase awareness, the Governor signed AB 1200 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco), which prohibits disposable food packaging from containing intentionally added PFASs and requires cookware manufacturers to disclose the presence of hazardous chemicals such as PFASs on product labels and online. AB 652 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) bans the use of toxic PFASs in products for children, such as car seats and cribs, beginning July 1, 2023. The state earlier this year required manufacturers of carpets and rugs to consider less toxic alternatives to PFASs, which pose a particular exposure risk to children when used in carpets and rugs.
A full list of the bills signed by the Governor is below:
- AB 652 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – Product safety: juvenile products: chemicals: perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
- AB 881 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Recycling: plastic waste: export.
- AB 962 by Senator Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles) – California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act: reusable beverage containers.
- AB 1200 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Plant-based food packaging: cookware: hazardous chemicals.
- AB 1201 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Solid waste: products: labeling: compostability and biodegradability.
- AB 1276 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) – Single-use foodware accessories and standard condiments.
- AB 1311 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) – Recycling: beverage containers.
- SB 343 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) – Environmental advertising: recycling symbol: recyclability: products and packaging.
- SB 619 by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) – Organic waste: reduction regulations: local jurisdiction compliance.
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.