A California Senate committee has kept intact the law on recycled content for trash bags for this year, but the Assembly is expected to consider legislation in August that would change the rules on recycling of rigid plastic containers. The Senate governmental organization committee rejected Assembly Bill 2744, which called for modification of regulations on post-consumer content in trash bags, in a 7-to-1 vote July 2.
The existing law says bags that are at least three-quarters of a mil thick must contain at least 20 percent recycled material now, and 30 percent beginning in 1997. The law has a temporary exemption for bags using adhesive heat-affixed strips.
AB 2744 proponents First Brands Corp. of Danbury, Conn.; Tenneco Inc.'s Packaging Division in Pittsford, N.Y.; and Presto Products of Appleton, Wis., are expected to press their case to the Legislature again next year. Environmentalists, recyclers and disposal firms opposed the bill.
Meanwhile, after a three-week recess, the Assembly will consider an amended Senate Bill 1155 that would grant an indefinite exemption on recycled-content requirements for rigid-plastic food and cosmetic containers. Legislators reconvene Aug. 5.
Supporters say the new SB 1155 would narrow the definition of plastic containers subject to recycling law.
Insufficient support prompted withdrawal of a broader version of SB 1155 from a committee calendar in May. That version sought to repeal a 1991 law that requires rigid plastic containers achieve a 25 percent recycling rate, use 25 percent recycled content, be source-reduced by 10 percent, or be made refillable or reusable.
The 1991 law exempts food and cosmetic containers until 1997.