A California state agency has adopted what it says is the first-in-the-U.S. microplastics reduction strategy, a broad plan that mixes traditional plastic bans with a push on reusable packaging and efforts to tackle other sources like synthetic fibers.
The detailed plan passed Feb. 23 by the California Ocean Protection Council calls for things that will be felt immediately by plastics companies, like a ban on expanded polystyrene foodware and packaging, as well as tougher enforcement of resin pellet discharge from factories.
But it also wants the state to pursue broader research and source reduction initiatives, including supporting reusable and refillable packaging and targeting other common sources of microplastics pollution like cigarette filters, tires and synthetic polymers from clothing.
OPC does not have any regulatory power — that rests with other state agencies — but the council members include heads of state agencies and lawmakers active on plastics issues. A 2018 state law directed the agency to develop the strategy.