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Confused about which products to toss into the recycling bin? You aren’t the only one. The ubiquitous recycling symbol is everywhere, even on packages that cannot be recycled at the vast majority of recycling facilities.

Last week, California lawmakers took a step toward remedying that confusion. Senate Bill 343, which passed the state Assembly on Wednesday and cleared the state Senate on Thursday, would ban companies from displaying the “chasing arrows” symbol on types of plastic that aren’t regularly recycled throughout California and turned into new products.

“This is ultimately a truth-in-advertising concept,” Ben Allen, a Democratic state senator who sponsored the bill, told Grist. According to Allen and other proponents, the bill would clear up confusion among consumers who have wrongly — although understandably — assumed that the recycling symbol indicates recyclability. “So many of the materials that people put into their blue bins thinking they’re recyclable — they’re not recycled,” Allen said. “Consumers ought to be able to trust the labels.”

The bill was introduced earlier this year as part of a package of proposals to address short... Read more

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