Several plastics- and recycling-related bills are among the many pushed through the California state legislature amid the annual end-of-session frenzy before Labor Day.
One measure (AB 2530) would require plastic beverage container manufacturers to report to the state annually on how much recycled content was used in their bottles.
“Making that information available to the public will enable consumers to determine whether or not beverage companies are using recycled plastic in the beverages they purchase,” notes on the bill say. But the bill would not require minimum levels of post-consumer recycled material to be included in bottles sold in California, unlike some other state reporting programs — and previous attempts to do so in California have failed.
Should the bill become law, reporting would begin in March 2018.
Another bill (AB 1005) would extend the state's Plastic Market Development program through 2018, authorizing another year of payments to support in-state recycling markets. The $10 million annual fund pays recyclers and manufacturers up to $150 per ton for collecting, washing, processing and manufacturing recycled-content bottles in California. The program is administered by the state's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle, which would be authorized to receive another $173,000 per year to run the program under the new bill.
All the funds would come from the state's so-called bottle bill, which requires a 5-cent redemption value on containers that hold less than 24 ounces and a 10-cent value for those that hold 24 ounces or more. The bottle deposit can be redeemed by consumers at either a supermarket-based recycling center or privately-operated recycling centers, or be “donated,” along with the containers, either a non-profit recycling program or by simply sending those bottles along through curbside recycling programs.
A third bill (AB 1613), while not directly mentioning plastic processors, could be a boon to those focusing on vehicle light-weighting and solar companies. It would distribute about $1.2 billion in revenue collected under California's greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, a government-mandated market-based system that aims to lower greenhouse gases by holding companies financially liable for their emissions.
The money, which has been parked in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for two years while legislators and the governor debated how best to spend it, would primarily go to investments in cleaner cars and trucks, solar power programs, waste diversion and access to transit alternatives.
Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign the measures into law.