Statement: Governor Newsom signs legislation to tackle plastic

Media Contacts
Sander Kushen

Former Consumer Advocate, CALPIRG

Taran Volckhausen

Former Communications Associate, The Public Interest Network

New laws mandate truthful recycling labeling and eliminate unnecessary plastic foodware


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several new laws to reduce single-use plastic waste, including a measure that prohibits manufacturers from using the common chasing-arrows symbol on non-recyclable materials. SB 343, introduced by Sen. Ben Allen, will reduce consumer confusion and restrict producers from misleadingly placing recycling labels on non-recyclable products.

Gov. Newsom also signed into law AB 1276, which expands California’s plastic-straws-upon-request law to include other single-use food accessories, like utensils for takeout and delivery. This measure reduces plastic waste by eliminating some of the most unnecessarily single-use plastic items.

In response, Jenn Engstrom, CALPIRG’s state director, released the following statement:

“Governor Newsom has once again secured California’s position as a leader on tackling the global plastic pollution problem.  The common sense measures that the governor signed today will bring transparency to our recycling systems, help consumers make more informed choices and reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastics polluting our communities.” 

The full list of plastic reducing measures signed Tuesday is below: 

SB 343 (Allen) brings “truth in labeling” to many plastic and packaging products. Manufacturers would no longer be allowed to put the “chasing arrows” recycling symbol on items that aren’t actually recyclable in the real world.

AB 1276 (Carrillo) reduces plastic foodware waste by giving takeout customers only what they want: Single-use foodware may only be provided upon request. 

AB 881 (Gonzalez) helps the state accurately measure how much plastic actually gets recycled. It prohibits plastic waste exports to other countries being counted as being “recycled.”

AB 962 (Kamlager) allows the easier reuse of glass bottles by brewers, which responds to business and consumer preferences by reducing the need for single-use beverage containers.

AB 1201 (Ting) updates labeling for compostable products. This helps businesses know if the products they sell are compostable and cuts chemical contamination of organic compost.

staff | TPIN

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