Plastic bottles collected by volunteers in Aberdeen Harbor on the south side of Hong Kong Island in August. Will California show the nation how to take on the enormous problem of single-use plastic? Or will state lawmakers chicken out under heavy lobbying by plastic makers who are happy to continue to cover the world in discarded water bottles, used food wrappers and countless other pieces of disposable packaging? We will find out soon. It’s not an overstatement to say that the fate of one of the world’s biggest sources of pollution hangs on the passage of the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica). This legislation — which will be passed or die on Friday, the last day for the Legislature to pass new bills this year — would fundamentally reshape the product packaging industry by requiring products sold in the state to be wrapped in material that is being recycled or composted at a 75% rate by 2030. This is important because even though most plastic is theoretically recyclable, very little of it actually gets recycled. Only about 6% of the some 83 billion metric […]

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