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Newsom signs landmark plastics reduction bill into law

Posted on July 1, 2022

AXIOS Shawna Chen

Photo of Gavin Newsom speaking from a podium
California Gov. Gavin Newsom at a news conference on May 27 in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law Thursday a bill mandating a 25% decrease in disposable plastic packaging and utensils by 2032.

Why it matters: The landmark legislation, which AP called the “toughest plastics reduction rules” in the nation, aims to counter growing plastic waste, which has led to severe pollution and environmental damage.

Details: The 25% reduction applies to single-use plastic packaging and foodware accessories both in weight and “plastic component source,” which is defined as any single piece of material that’s covered partly or entirely by plastic, per the bill’s text.

  • The law also requires plastics other than beverage bottles to be recycled at a rate of 65% by 2032. 

What they’re saying: “It’s time for California to lead the nation and world in curbing the plastic crisis. Our planet cannot wait,” state Sen. Ben Allen (D), who co-authored the bill, tweeted ahead of the bill’s signing.

The big picture: Global plastic waste is expected to nearly triple by 2060, according to a reportby the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that was released earlier this month.

  • The U.S. Department of the Interior has said it plans to phase out single-use plastics by 2032 on its land and facilities. Other cities and states have taken their own steps to mitigate the problem.

Flashback: California was the first state to ban most stores from handing out plastic bags.