California Governor signs bills to reduce plastic waste
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California Governor signs bills to reduce plastic waste

06 Oct 2021 (Last Updated October 6th, 2021 15:58)

Governor Newsom has signed bills that prohibit the use of toxic PFASs in products for children and disposable food packaging.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed several bills intended to combat plastic waste in the state and promote a more sustainable and renewable economy.

Among the laws to take effect on 1 January is Senate Bill 343, which bans the use of misleading recycling labels and implements other measures to reduce single-use waste pollution and support recycling goals.

Senator Ben Allen, the bill’s author, said: “Consumers are being misled by the placement of the recycling symbol on items that aren’t actually recyclable under real-world conditions.

“By enforcing truth in labelling and empowering consumers to make informed decisions, this measure will reduce contamination in the recycling stream and improve the sorting process, which incidentally translates to big savings for ratepayers and local governments.”

Also signed by Governor Newsom were Assembly Bills 652, 962 and 1200.

Assembly Bill 652, introduced by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, will ban the use of toxic perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in products for children.

By approving this bill, California has become the seventh US state to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging.

Assembly Bill 962 is intended to make it easier for brewers and other beverage producers to create reusable glass bottle systems, reducing the need for single-use containers.

Last month, the California State Legislature approved Assembly Bill 1200, which will prohibit the manufacture, sale and distribution of any food packaging containing PFASs in the state from 1 July 2023.

Governor Newsom said: “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.

“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.”

Last month, Governor Newsom announced a $15bn climate package, including $270m to support a circular economy and reduce waste.