EcoJustice Radio

The State of Recycling in California and Beyond – EcoJustice Radio


EcoJustice Radio guest, Nick Lapis, Director of Advocacy of Californians Against Waste (CAW), advocates at the state and local levels to create, promote, and implement the standards and policies necessary for waste reduction and recycling. He speaks with Jessica Aldridge of Adventures in Waste and EcoJustice Radio host.

How California Legislation is Driving New Standards

Hosted by Jessica Aldridge of Adventures in Waste and Co-founder of SoCal 350

Since joining Californians Against Waste (CAW) in 2007, Nick Lapis has led several campaigns to enact nation-leading waste reduction legislation and regulatory action in California. In addition to coordinating CAW’s overall advocacy strategy, Nick leads the organization’s efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change and recover organic wastes. He also engages in policy development and coalition-building, representing CAW on a variety of boards, committees, workgroups, and coalitions.

California leads in setting environmental standards and passing precedent-setting legislation that the rest of the country looks to for inspiration and emulation. Since the 1990s, California has been setting a high bar for waste diversion and recycling in the United States.

This September Governor Brown picked up his pen and signed off on his last set of bills under his reign as Governor. Brown had the opportunity to approve or veto a significant amount of historic waste and recycling legislation.

STORY: The Steep Environmental and Social Costs of the Fashion Industry

Gaining national attention, many of us heard about the “first statewide law to require straws upon request,” but this most recent round of legislation approval also brought with it a slew of other waste policies that protect environment and human health, all the while building the necessary groundwork to move forward in a new recycling paradigm.

Given the recent global shift in the recycling market (China and other global markets placing strict contamination limitations on recycling imports), the needs for recycling solutions can’t focus only on consumer behavior, but more importantly we must focus on design changes, manufacture & product responsibility, and overall reduction.

For details on recently passed waste and recycling legislation click here:
Californians Against Waste:
Adventures in Waste:

Episode 22

Cover Photo by Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Updated 25 December 2019

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