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On February 2nd, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) announced his endorsement of the California Plastic Pollution Reduction and Recycling Act. More specifically, the measure – which has qualified for the November 2022 ballot – seeks to require CalRecycle to adopt regulations to (1) require that single-use plastic packaging, containers, and utensils be reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and require producers to source reduce such plastics placed in commerce by 25 percent, by 2030; (2) prohibit polystyrene container use by food vendors; and (3) tax producers no more than one-cent per single-use plastic packaging, container, or utensil placed in commerce by 1/1/2022, allocating revenues for recycling and environmental programs, including local water supply protection. Notably, the measure would also prohibit the Legislature from reducing funding to specified state environmental agencies for various natural resource purposes below 2019 levels.

“Plastic production, consumption, and pollution are having an unacceptable impact on our communities and our environment and we must act urgently to turn the tide,” said Speaker Rendon. “I am pleased to endorse this ballot measure as an effective approach to minimizing plastic pollution and its impacts on human health, local communities, and the environment while incentivizing less production of single-use plastic and holding producers accountable for the social burden of the plastic packaging they sell in our state. I urge Californians to vote yes this November.”

The Speaker joins several colleagues who have previously endorsed the ballot measure, including Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley), Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), and Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica).

For additional context, the initiative comes on the heels of environmental and waste organizations' failed efforts to pass groundbreaking legislation the last several sessions. Its placement on the ballot has set the stage for immense pressure on producers, the Legislature and Administration to come to a workable deal in 2022 to try to avoid what would inevitably be a costly and contentious ballot fight. Stay tuned…

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