California, a wealthy US state that wants to be at the forefront of environmental protection, has passed a law aimed at dramatically reducing non-recyclable plastic packaging and expanded polystyrene within ten years. And it is the manufacturers themselves who will have to implement and finance this legislation.
30% of plastic packaging recyclable by 2028
The text, which only awaits the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom to come into force, stipulates that at least 30% of plastic packaging sold or used in California must be recyclable by 2028, a proportion which must be at least 65% by January 1, 2032. The incineration or conversion of this waste into fuels that are not part of the forms of ” recycling “ admitted.
The law also tackles the pollution of expanded polystyrene food packaging, frequently used in the United States in take-out restaurants for cups or dishes. Unless producers are able to prove that at least 25% of this packaging is recyclable by 2025, it will no longer be able to be used in the state at all.
A “de facto ban” on polystyrene food packaging
For the defenders of the environment, this objective is impossible to achieve, which amounts to a “de facto prohibition” polystyrene food packaging. “It is the most demanding legislation in the country for the reduction of plastic waste”welcomed the environmental NGO The Nature Conservancy.
In California about 85% of plastic waste escapes recycling and ends up in landfills. In 2021, this rate was only 5% for the whole of the United States.
$50,000 daily fine
The new Californian law does not just lay down rules for recycling, it makes manufacturers directly responsible for the implementation and financing of these measures.
“Reducing plastic pollution at the source will also reduce emissions into the air and water and reduce the plastic dumped in our oceans”wrote the NGO Oceana on Twitter.
companies or “entities” who do not comply with this law are liable to a fine of 50,000 dollars per day.