The ban in California could have impacts on the sector in other states, because any company importing goods to California would have to comply with its plastic standards. Much like California’s emissions standards tend to cause changes in the automotive industry nationally, such a bill has the potential to shift the plastic landscape more broadly.
West Coast News
The second-largest city in the country also has a very ambitious waste diversion goal: 90% by 2025. That means Los Angeles must stay creative to continue managing the massive volume of recyclables its residents generate.
“We have a vast amount of bins all throughout the city,” said Robert Potter, city of Los Angeles division manager for the Bureau of Sanitation. “There are roughly 3 million containers that are out there on any given week.”
The city’s residential recycling program relies on city crews to service 750,000 single- and multi-family homes.
In a letter to AB 1080 sponsor, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) urged California lawmakers to incorporate in legislation incentives to boost domestic recycling markets and capacity. AB1080 and its companion bill SB54, legislation known as California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, would require a 75 percent reduction in waste from single-use plastic products by 2030 and requires all single-use plastic products in California to be recyclable or compostable by 2030.
Five plastics recycling projects will take in a total of $11.7 million in California state grants. The awarded companies are targeting scrap plastic from a variety of sources.
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) recently approved its 2018-19 Recycled Fiber, Plastic and Glass Grant Program recipients. All five awardees are targeting some amount of plastics with the funds.
City officials in Tacoma, Washington, have announced several proposals to change its recycling program. The city currently offers curbside recycling service to residents, multifamily tenants and commercial customers.
However, the city reports in a news release that “the majority of Tacoma’s recyclables are sold overseas, mainly in Asia, where countries have adopted strict policies regarding material quality. Materials that do not meet the requirements are rejected.”
One of the Electronic Reusing Association’s (ERA) prime missions is to help other immigrants and charities needing technology. ERA focuses on reusing and refurbishing laptops, computers, monitors, servers, printers, cell phones and many other electronic devices. As a non-profit, they strongly believe in tackling the growing problem of e-waste. In a short time, they have become industry leaders in data destruction and securely repurposing hundreds of tons of equipment.
The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) recently sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for the establishment of a statewide commission on recycling market development and is asking all counties to follow suit.
New legislation proposed by the Washington state Department of Ecology hopes to address some of those deficiencies in regional recycling and solid waste management. The ultimate goal is to attract more businesses to recycle and use materials in the state, and offer state help for waste managers at the county and city level as they better plan for how to manage the stuff they collect.
When the city of Seattle recently put out an RFP for a 10-year hauling contract, it included a noteworthy request: primary fleets that leverage energy-saving fuel sources.
The Seattle contract, which covers collection of waste, recycling and organics, was awarded to the city’s two incumbent haulers: Waste Management and Recology.
Five years after Sonoma County and the city of Santa Rosa banned single-use plastic bags at local supermarkets and stores, the much-maligned plastic bag is making a comeback — and reviving some familiar problems. The new breed of plastic bag, introduced a little more than two years ago, is marketed as a thicker, sturdier sack that can be reused dozens of times, and also is recyclable.