Plastics are problematic across their lifecycle; from extraction and refining to consumption and disposal they cause pollution on land, and oceans, threatening marine ecosystems, leading to toxic emissions and undermining human health. Despite the unprecedented attention the plastic crisis has received, most efforts to address it are focused on end-of-pipe solutions which fail to hold those truly responsible for the problem to account. This campaign highlights the critical need for plastic producers and consumer brands to collect at least 90% of the packaging they put on the market, for either reuse or effective recycling, which in turn will stimulate product redesign, better collection systems and a push towards a circular economy. Such solutions need to be enshrined in legislation, because the industry has failed to address the problem through voluntary measures.
Genie in a Bottle: Unlocking the full potential of California’s bottle bill
This briefing highlights the opportunity to update California’s bottle bill by increasing safety and convenience for Californians wanting to redeem their bottle deposits during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The system has seen redemption and recycling rates falling over the years, leading to higher emissions, more recyclable material sent to landfill, and more plastic ending up in the ocean. The system must be brought back to best-in-class level, and unlocking $400 million of unspent funds in the program could be the first step to updating the system, leading to the creation of new jobs and environmental and economic benefits. The briefing also presents the results of the public opinion poll, which showed that 74% Californians want more action on plastic pollution and 80% want plastic producers to contribute to managing plastic litter.
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