The Governor of California Has Signed Laws to Combat Plastic Pollution and Prohibit the Use of Harmful Chemicals
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed nine bills into law aimed at reducing single-use trash pollution, supporting recycling goals, combating climate change, and prohibiting the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in children's products and disposable food packaging.
Senate Bill 343 requires products to fulfil requirements that enable consumers readily identify which products are recyclable in California before they can be advertised or labelled as such. Newsom signed additional bills to promote consumer awareness, industry responsibility, and restrict plastic exports to battle plastic pollution and "advance a more sustainable and renewable economy." Only exports of "really recycled plastics" will be counted against state waste reduction and recycling goals because of these activities.
The legislation package also includes increased funds to assist the work of CalRecycle's new Office of Innovation in Recycling and Remanufacturing, which aims to increase demand for recyclables and attract green industry to California.
These funding will be used to promote organic waste infrastructure, food recovery and composting activities, remanufacturing, and recycling infrastructure, and investments in low-income communities. These bills go hand in hand with Newsom's California Comeback Plan, which has seen $270 million invested in modernizing recycling infrastructure and promoting a "circular economy."
Finally, Assembly Bills (AB) 652 and 1200 are also included in the package. Beginning July 1, 2023, AB652 prohibits the use of PFASs in children's items such as car seats and cribs. Due of their specific exposure danger to children when used in carpets and rugs, California authorized carpet and rug makers to investigate less harmful alternatives to PFASs earlier this year.
AB1200 forbids the intentional addition of PFASs to disposable food packaging and compels cookware producers to report the presence of dangerous chemicals like PFASs on product labels and online.