The state Senate this week passed SB 54, the latest iteration of a three-year effort to slow the production of single-use plastic packaging. The bill would require food service facilities on state property to use only compostable, recyclable or reusable packaging.

Sen. Ben Allen of Santa Monica said his bill seeks to establish a comprehensive framework for addressing the costly waste problem.

“Plastics are going to end up everywhere, choking us to death,” said Sen. Sydney Kamlager of Los Angeles, a co-author on the bill. “If you read the data out there, that’s happening with our oceans and the protein we are growing on our lands. We’ve got to get our act together.”

Looking for the best, most comprehensive and balanced news source in agriculture? Our Agri-Pulse editors don't miss a beat! Sign up for a free month-long subscription.

Democrats argued the Legislature should enact a measure before the issue is taken to voters in a ballot initiative, which has now gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Republicans opposed the bill, along with California Food Producers and two other groups, while several environmental organizations backed the measure.

The Senate also passed a measure that would establish a task force for farmworker disaster relief. The bill has no opposition.