(Bloomberg) -- On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law one of the country’s strictest rules on single-use plastic packaging, requiring its production to be cut 25% within the next decade. 

The governor’s office touted the new law as “nation-leading,” with measures to hold polluters responsible and cut plastics “at the source.” 

The law mandates recycling for polystyrene packaging — foam plates, cups and utensils — as well as levying a $500 million annual surcharge on plastic producers and manufacturers, allocating those funds for conservation efforts and forcing the industry to attack the plastic waste that is clogging oceans and possibly affecting human health. 

For 18 months, it had been doubtful that California lawmakers would reach a compromise on a plan to reduce plastic pollution. 

The bill, SB 54, served as a guard against a November ballot initiative that lawmakers and plastic industry insiders desperately wanted to avoid. If carried out, it would have asked voters whether they would want the state to implement even more aggressive rules on plastic manufacturers. 

The bill Newsom signed “is a better outcome than the withdrawn anti-plastics ballot initiative,” Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the industry group American Chemistry Council, said in a statement. 

Many environmental groups celebrated the new law with hopes it will influence other states to take their own measures to regulate plastic waste. 

“Our research found that tackling the plastic pollution problem will require systemic change, with reduction playing the biggest role out of all of the solutions required,” said Winnie Lau, project director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ preventing ocean plastics project. “Therefore we welcome California’s ambitions and hope it will inspire similar moves elsewhere.” 

Not everyone is happy with the outcome, though. Other environmental organizations have opposed the measure, charging that the law does not go far enough. 

Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, a Vermont-based advocacy group, said that it is “built on a foundation that plastic recycling will work,” which she says isn’t the case. 

Enck also criticized the law’s goal of implementing a polystyrene recycling regimen, saying state officials will not achieve the target of a 65% recycling rate for polystyrene by 2032. 

“What will likely happen is polystyrene will continue to be sold in California, and it will be sent to plastic-burning facilities,” which the bill does not prohibit, she said. That would disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color, said Enck. 

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