California Gov. Gavin Newsom Oct. 5 signed a major recycling labeling bill that had been opposed by the plastics industry, along with other plastics-related legislation adopted by lawmakers in Sacramento this year.
The labeling law, known as Senate Bill 343, limits the use of the chasing arrows symbol in recyclability marketing and gives the state agency CalRecycle authority to decide what packaging can — and can't — be labeled recyclable.
The main author, state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, said on social media that the law will help consumers and cash-strapped recycling programs with cleaner streams of materials.
"Truth in labeling will reduce contamination in our recycling process, and help our ratepayers and local governments save money," Allen said on Twitter.
But industry groups said California's effort jumped the gun on what should be a national debate on recycling labeling, and they said it would hurt efforts to build recycling for materials like polypropylene packaging and send more materials to landfills.
In other actions, Newsom said he signed Assembly Bill 881, which limits exports of plastic waste, along with Assembly Bill 1276, which requires restaurants to only provide certain takeout food cutlery and accessories upon request.
On the same day, Newsom also signed legislation on marketing of compostable plastics, limiting use of fluorinated chemicals and expanding the use of reusable containers in the state's bottle bill.