Plastic Pollution Reduction at a crossroads
Until 2018, 4000 shipping containers of garbage were exported from the US to China daily. As the environmental expenses of importing plastic have crystallised, and one country after another restricts plastic imports. We’ve seen a desperate scramble from Western countries to find new locations to send their trash. As this new long-term reality sets in, plastic pollution reduction is on course to blow up over the next decade
This new reality puts us at a crossroads with two possible futures. In the very first, we neglect the issue, and we are delegated handle the massive environmental and monetary problem of plastics’ afterlife. In the other scenario, we correct our incorrect turn and use this crisis to sustain a shift in our reliance on plastic. California might be on the brink of passing landmark legislation that would do just this, setting the standard for other states and countries to follow.
Attending To Plastic Pollution Reduction Systemically
Much of the legislative efforts to minimize plastics to date have actually focused on private product restrictions like microbeads, straws, and bags. Although these bans deal with some of the most problematic plastic products, they don’t resolve the most significant issue of all: the sheer scale of plastic production. Missing extensive policies to develop circularity in the plastics economy, we can’t truly stem the tide
California Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080, known together as The California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, is developed to do simply that. The expense would lower the waste stream from single-use items and packaging sold in the state by 75% by 2030 and ensure any staying single-use packaging or products can be recycled or composted in the state. This would have an effect in a variety of ways including the following.
❌ Reduce single-use plastic offered in California
❌ Bring down demand for brand-new ‘virgin’ plastic
❌ Lower the export of our waste overseas
❌ Reduce the growing monetary problem on taxpayers
✅ Increase recycled content in brand-new products
✅ Hold companies responsible for the management of their items
✅ Create new organisation opportunities, green jobs, and plastic-free norms
Setting High Reductions Targets for Retail & Manufacturing Industries
Under this costs, producers and retailers in California would require to lower the output of non-recyclable single-use plastic by 75 percent by 2030. The costs likewise establishes rising single-use reductions and recycling rates for companies.
Redefining Recycling to help plastic pollution reduction
This step would redefine and standardise what’s recyclable in the state around what has resale value. What’s typically misconstrued about recycling is that it’s less about what can be recycled in a laboratory and more about whether there is enough value in the material to make it worth recycling. Without resale value for plastics, we will not see circularity, and they need to not be thought about recyclable. For instance, plastics with the numbers 3-7 have virtually no recycling markets locally or abroad– so although they are technically recyclable, they are not virtually recyclable.
Phasing Out Non-Recyclable Single-Use Plastics
From 2030, all single-use plastics sold in the state would require to be recyclable or compostable. Redefining recycling methods recognising that a huge quantity of what enters into our recycling bins isn’t really recyclable from an economic perspective. Increasingly, municipalities are needing to garbage dump these items. Phasing out non-recyclable, single-use products would incentivise the redesign of single-use items and shipment systems for decrease and real recyclability.
Motivate In-state Manufacturing, Recycling & Green Jobs
By ensuring that all single-use items be recyclable in the state, we lower the need to export waste overseas. Handling the recycling in-state around a smaller sized, higher-quality waste stream is likely to minimise taxpayers expenses, along with produce extra jobs and facilities in the state. With the policy assisting to ignite more comprehensive cultural shifts away from single-use plastics, we also anticipate a growing area for development and business development in refillable and alternative delivery systems.
At a time where plastic threatens to permanently imprint itself on our planet, The California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act would set a new gold requirement for legal responses to this crisis that move beyond bans and begin to move market standards around decrease, reuse and market-driven recycling. Without ambitious legislation like this, we might continue to win fights and lose the war.