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The Nature Conservancy Applauds California Secretary of State's Certification of Citizen Initiative Aimed at Reducing Plastic Waste

Surfer on a beach full of trash
Surfer on trash strewn beach. © Jason Childs

Today, California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber certified the California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act for the November 2022 statewide ballot, which will give California voters an opportunity to address the environmental and health consequences of single-use plastics. Nearly 900,000 California voters signed petitions to qualify the measure.

“We see plastic pollution in California and beyond as a critical environmental issue”, said Jay Ziegler, Executive Director of External Affairs and Policy for the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy. “This initiative is a landmark opportunity to ensure producer responsibility, invest in critical infrastructure and ensure that both nature and people can have a future that is not threatened by plastic.”

The California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act would require California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to adopt key policies for producer responsibility related to the reduction of single-use plastic packaging and foodware. If approved by voters in November 2022, plastics manufacturers would be charged a 1-cent tax on each piece of plastics packaging and foodware to go towards restoration of oceans, rivers and beaches, as well as innovations in plastic recycling and composting. The initiative would also reduce single-use plastic packaging and foodware sold by 25% and require all remaining single-use plastic packaging and foodware to be recyclable or compostable by 2030. 

Already, the initiative enjoys the support of dozens of conservation and environmental health groups, progressive agriculture, solid waste, recycling and composting facilities, business organizations, and leading state legislators. 

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s progress in the fight against plastic waste in California, please visit: www.nature.org/plasticfreeca

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.