1. After three years of failed attempts, in the last six months, a team of roughly two dozen negotiators — mostly women — crafted language designed to reduce plastic, increase recycling and shift the economic burden of waste disposal to plastic producers and packagers. They sought language that would satisfy producers, as well as waste managers, packaging companies and environmentalists. Cruz Foam participated in these negotiations!
2. Under California’s new law, signed by Governor Newsom on June 30, 2022, plastic producers now have to reduce plastics in single-use products 10% by 2027, increasing to 25% by 2032. That reduction in plastic packaging can be met through a combination of reducing package sizing, switching to a circular material (like Cruz Foam) or making the product easily reusable or refillable.
3. Also by 2032, plastic will have to be recycled at a rate of 65%, a massive jump from today’s rates. The California legislation avoids outright bans, at least initially. Products like polystyrene (which Cruz Foam can replace) face the prospect of being banned only if they don’t meet certain rates of recycling in the state. Meantime, setting a high recycling rate creates a de facto ban on polystyrene.
4. Per the bill’s (SB 54) author, Senator Ben Allen, “With this new law, California continues its tradition of global environmental leadership – tackling a major problem in a way that will move and grow markets in sustainable innovations, create incentives for investment, and give tools to other states and countries to help play their part in this fight.” We think Senator Allen is referring to companies like Cruz Foam - we first met with him 2 years ago! (See photo above)
5. According to one estimate by the Ocean Conservancy, the new California law will eliminate 23 million tons of plastic in the next 10 years. Under the law, manufacturers would pay for recycling programs and be charged fees based on the weight of packaging, the ease of recycling and whether products contain toxic substances, such as PFAS, a type of virtually indestructible chemicals that have been linked to increased risk of some cancers. Cruz Foam is non-toxic and meets every environmental standard.
6. Demand for plastic alternatives will accelerate: California has the largest economy of any state, and is a major global economy as well. Given the increasingly national and global nature of supply chains, recycling analysts say that the law could have an effect on packaging used nationwide. Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a Van Nuys Democrat, called it the “biggest bill of the year,” one that will have ripple effects, “all across the county and across the world.”