Tuesday, June 18, 2019

California Plastic Laws: What You Need To Know

Even before plastic straw bans grew trendy, California was at the forefront of using less plastic and promoting more sustainable living... 
 California’s plastic straw ban law (Assembly Bill 1884) took effect this month and prohibits full-service restaurants from automatically providing single-use plastic straws unless said straws are specifically requested by the customer.
By the state’s definition, a “full-service restaurant” is an establishment with the primary business purpose of serving food, where food may be consumed on the premises. To define even further, at these restaurants, customers have to be escorted or assigned to a seating area, their orders have to be taken in that area, orders have to be brought to them and the check has to be delivered to the customer in the assigned eating area. Fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, and anywhere you’d receive a to-go cup aren’t included in the ban. The penalty for breaking the ban can cost restaurateurs up to $25 per infraction..
According to environmental group EcoCycle, Americans use an estimated 500 million disposable straws every day and straws were the seventh most common piece of trash picked up on beaches worldwide by volunteer cleanup crews associated with the marine conservation group Ocean Conservancy..
  • In its effectiveness study, San Jose found twice as many people opted not to take a bag post-ban.
  • San Jose also measured the number of plastic bags found in litter and creek cleanups, and saw decreases.
  • California Waste Solutions, which does the majority of recycling for San Jose, reported fewer plastic bags getting caught in recycling machines and a 35-50 percent reduction in downtime because of that.
  • Los Angeles County found its large stores gave away 2 million plastic bags and 196,000 paper bags annually before its ban. A year later, those stores handed out only 125,000 paper bags.
Local bans across the state already had cut down considerably on the plastic bag litter on beaches, but that figure dropped even further after passage of the statewide ban—and the straw ban is forecasted to do the same.
Clearly, California’s plastic bans are working and will likely be adopted elsewhere. In the meantime, how can you help? Start with the packaging you choose. By finding the right solution for every packaging need, nothing is wasted and products stay damage-free, reducing the returns that add up in fuel and energy costs to the environment.Read more here

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