By Debrah Kahn, POLITICO PRO
December 6, 2021
California’s dropping recycling rate is increasing its greenhouse gas footprint, according to a new analysis commissioned by the group Consumer Watchdog.
The state’s recycling rate for containers was 58 percent last year, far below its goal of 80 percent, POLITICO’s Debra Kahn reports. That means some 13.4 billion bottles and cans went unrecycled.
Recycling 90 percent of containers could save about 330,000 tons of greenhouse gases — equivalent to 70,000 cars’ annual emissions, according to the Container Recycling Institute’s analysis.
Consumer Watchdog is advocating for legislation like CA SB38 (21R), by Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), that would create a beverage industry-sponsored organization to handle container deposits, rather than having CalRecycle distribute them. The group argues CalRecycle is mismanaging the deposits and allowing recycling centers to close.
“If the state can ensure that as many deposit-bearing plastic, aluminum and glass beverage containers as possible are recycled, that means fewer of these containers will be made from scratch,” Consumer Watchdog advocate Liza Tucker said in a release.
With help from Susannah Luthi and Debra Kahn