Plastics Programs and Resources
Plastics have been a cost-effective material with many uses in our society.
However, plastic pollution can harm our environment and human health.
- Items made from different plastic types cannot be recycled together.
- Some items made of multi-layers or pieces of different plastic types cannot be separated for recycling.
- Plastic degrades every time it is recycled, so it usually only gets recycled once or twice.
- Recent issues like international restrictions on importing plastics have impacted the demand for plastic recyclables.
CalRecycle works to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic and other resources to protect California’s environment and build a circular economy across all materials.
CalRecycle addresses plastic waste in a number of ways, including:
- Packaging programs manage multiple materials, including plastics.
- Single-Use Carryout Bags (SB 270).In 2016, California voters upheld the nation’s first state ban on single-use plastic bags, aligning state law with many local ordinances to cut plastic waste.
- Plastic Trash Bags. Certain trash bags must contain at least 10% recycled plastic.
- Beverage Container Recycling Program includes some plastic beverage containers. Consumers pay California Refund Value (CRV) on eligible beverage containers — refundable when they are returned.
- Plastic Market Development Payments. California processors and manufacturers may receive incentive payments for recycled CRV plastic for new products. Notices | Regulations | Public Resources Code
- Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass Grants and Loans. Helps lower climate pollution by expanding or building new facilities that manufacture products using California-generated recycled fiber, plastic, or glass.
California is addressing plastic waste by building a circular economy with efforts to:
- Cut the amount of plastic waste made.
- Invest and expand domestic recycling.
- Increase market demand for recycled plastic by using more recycled content.
- Focus on reuse and refilling rather than single-use products.
- Launch Extended Producer Responsibility programs that make producers responsible for end-of-life management of plastic packaging.