New Recycling Law for California in 2020

2020 welcomes new recycling laws in California. Starting January 1st, the State of California now requires certain restaurants to recycle their organic waste. Restaurants producing 2 cubic yards of organic waste weekly now need to recycle waste. California’s old recycling law required recycling waste at 4 cubic yards. So the new limit affects more businesses than ever.

Here at OkStraw Paper Straws, we think California’s push for new recycling laws is a necessary move. If we want to fight climate change and sustain food production, then we need organic recycling. So let’s unpack what changes the new recycling law brings and how it affects your business.

What Exactly is Organic Waste?

Some folks may not know what’s considered “organic waste”, so let’s clear up the confusion. Also called “green waste”, organic waste spans a list of different materials. For example, it includes uneaten food (organic or non-organic), landscape trimmings, grass, leaves, branches, and compostable paper.

Compostable paper includes food-soiled paper, and biodegradable paper. Since OkStraw Paper Straws are both compostable and biodegradable, they technically count as organic waste.  OkStraw helps businesses comply with the new recycling laws. Whether it’s a paper straw or paper to-go container, this organic waste needs to be recycled. Let’s limit your restaurant’s organic waste to two cubic yards every week.

Why Organic Waste Recycling is so Important

So we know what counts as organic waste, but why does California care so much about recycling it? California cares because organic waste recycling helps fight climate change. Refuse that decomposes in the landfill produces large amounts of methane. Methane is far more aggressive than CO2.  We want less emissions, not more.   As such, these new recycling laws ensure a safer decomposing process.  For example, organic waste recycling helps capture these methane emissions and lowers greenhouse gasses.

The other reason why this new recycling law is so important is its improvement to agriculture. Soil from organic waste is rich in nutrients, which helps farmers grow crops more efficiently. In fact, organic waste is an agricultural goldmine, so why let it rot away in a landfill? Seems like wasted money and potential, right? We think so, which is why we at OkStraw ensured that our paper straws are organically recyclable.


California’s Organic Recycling Goals

This new recycling law is the latest bill for the California state legislature. In In 2014, Governor Brown signed a bill into law, requiring a 50% reduction in organic disposal over 5 years. However, California didn’t meet its recycling goal. This recycling law ensures a more aggressive approach to the problem.

With more restaurants falling under the new recycling law, California is on its way to finally meeting this goal. But, there are exceptions to the law. These include places without local organic recyclers.  Additionally, it spares restaurants without the space for organic recycling containers. Ultimately, we at OkStraw Paper Straws want to see ALL organic waste in California get recycled.

Are Paper Straws Organically Recyclable?

Given this news about changes to California’s organic recycling law, we started thinking, “Are OkStraw paper straws organically recyclable?”. Well looking back, California considers compostable paper with food stains organically recyclable. OkStraw Paper Straws are certainly compostable, and they absorb whatever drink they were in. So it’s safe to say that YES, OkStraw paper straws can go in the organic recycling.

Not all paper straws are organically recyclable, though. Some paper straws have wax or even plastic linings, so they can’t be organically recycled. Whereas OkStraw organic paper straws have none of these strengtheners added. We only sustainably sourced paper, vegan-safe glues and food safe mineral oils in our paper straws.

Available in countless sizes, custom prints and in 3 or 4 ply, there’s an OkStraw paper straw for every California restaurant. From ADA-compliant paper bendy straws to bubble tea paper straws, we have them all. So to California restaurants out there, get 2020 in full swing, and join the Cause for Organic Recyclable Paper Straws!