California Plastic Waste Reduction Regulations Initiative 2022
The bill will be on the Nov. 8 ballot and will require state regulations to reduce plastic waste, tax producers of single-use plastics, and fund recycling and environmental programs.
SACRAMENTO— The California Plastic Waste Reduction Regulations Initiative has qualified for the ballot in California as an initiated state statute on Nov. 8.
The ballot initiative would require the California Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery (CalRecycle), in consultation with other agencies, to adopt regulations for reducing the use of single-use plastic packaging and appliances, including:
- Requiring producers to ensure that single-use plastic packaging and appliances are recyclable, reusable, refillable, or compostable by 2030.
- Requiring producers to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic packaging or appliances that CalRecycle determines is unnecessary for product or food item delivery.
- Requiring producers to reduce the amount of single-use plastic packaging and appliances sold in California by at least 25 percent by 2030.
- Requiring producers to use recycled content and renewable materials in the production of single-use plastic packaging and appliances.
- Establishing “mechanisms for convenient consumer access to recycling,” including take-back programs and deposits.
- Establishing and enforcing labeling standards to support the sorting of discarded single-use plastic packaging and appliances.
- Prohibiting food vendors from distributing expanded polystyrene food service containers.
The ballot initiative would also enact a fee on single-use plastic packaging and appliances, called the California Plastic Pollution Reduction Fee. CalRecycle would determine the fee amount with a maximum amount of one cent per item of packaging or appliances. Beginning in 2030, the fee would be adjusted based on the California Consumer Price Index changes.
Revenue from the fee would be distributed to CalRecycle, the California Natural Resources Agency, and local governments as follows:
- Fifty percent would go to CalRecycle for implementing and enforcing the measure and providing funds for statewide recycling, reduction, and composting efforts.
- Thirty percent would go to the California Natural Resources Agency for state and local grants to address the environmental impacts of plastic pollution, such as habitat restoration.
- Twenty percent would go to local governments for recycling and composting programs and plastic pollution mitigation.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that the measure would increase state revenue. However, the magnitude of the revenue generated is uncertain but possibly in the range of a few billion dollars annually in the near term.
A “yes” vote supports this ballot initiative to:
- Require CalRecycle to adopt regulations that reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging.
- Enact a maximum one-cent per item fee on single-use plastic packaging and utensils, with revenue from the fee distributed to CalRecycle, the California Natural Resources Agency, and local governments.
A “no” vote opposes this ballot initiative, thus not requiring CalRecycle to adopt regulations that reduce single-use plastic packaging or enact a fee on single-use plastic packaging and other plastic food appliances.